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WDW Radio # 671 – Top Ten Ideas For a Themed Dining Experience in Walt Disney World

We’ll do some armchair Imagineering this week, as we share our Top Ten Ideas For a Themed Dining Experience in Walt Disney World, and ask you to share your creative ideas as well!

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Thanks to Tim Foster from Celebrations Magazine and Daniel Roberts, author of Bar Maid (get it on Amazon) for joining me again this week!

What is YOUR idea for a themed dining experience in Walt Disney World?

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Click Here To Read The Full Podcast Episode Transcript


Lou Mongello: I've said for years, that attractions are just things to pass the time in between dining experiences in Walt Disney world. And I say that half jokingly, but not only do I love so many of the culinary delights that the parks and resorts have to offer, but there seems to be this continuing trend towards not just delicious dining, but well themed dining as well.

So this week we're going to do a little armchair Imagineering of our own and share our top 10 ideas for a themed dining experience in Walt Disney world. And when you hear top 10, you know that Tim Foster from guide to the magic and celebrations magazine has to be, it doesn't have to be, but is going to, at least for this week, be part of the conversation, Tim, my friend, welcome back.

Well, it's

Tim Foster: nice to be invited.

Lou Mongello: Thanks buddy. It is always good to, I don't actually get to see you, but it's good to hear you. And it's been far too long. It has been too long said no one ever, but it is. I, I do believe that it's been far too long speaking the far too long. Excuse me. We have a, uh, a returning guest to join us here on a top 10 back.

Once again is Daniel Roberts. He is longtime listener friend and owes over a generous contributor to our dream team project, which benefits Make-A-Wish Daniel. Welcome back my friend.

Daniel Roberts: Thank you, Lou. And Tim, so nice to be back with you guys. Um, this is my eighth, top 10, and as I always say that, Lou is the godfather.

He's like Johnny Carson. Tim is like a jail. Uh, David Letterman. And that makes me, uh, the Joan Rivers of the trio. I

Tim Foster: I was really wondering...

Daniel Roberts: You didn't know where I was going, but I love being back. I love the dream team. I love all the work that Lou does. Um, the choose the good, and I think I wrote Lou this, but I have, uh, uh, in the morning, [00:02:00] Face cream or something that my wife got me called the good.

So I'm choosing it every morning. And I think of Lou every morning, it's called the good, it's

Lou Mongello: great. It's creepy on so many levels, which is why this compensation very, very quickly. So Daniel, this was your idea. And I think this is going to be fun and really let us flex some of our creative muscles. And then at the end, I want to ask you our friend, the listener to share your idea for a themed restaurant.

But before we get into the list, as I said, I think we're seeing this growing wonderful trend towards truly themed. And often in some cases, interactive dining experiences, whether it be be our guest docking bay seven, bogus Cantina, skipper canteen. And I think it even goes back to some of the quote unquote classics in Walt Disney world, like scifi dine-in, primetime cafe, even something like brown Derby that all have.

That, that essence of experiential theme dining. And I just saw what they've done and been able to do on places like the star cruiser, which I think is going to usher in that this, this next generation of theme dining on so many levels. But I want to start with a question for the two of you that you didn't know was coming.

I'll do Tim first, then Daniel, where in Walt Disney world, do you think currently has the best themed dining or it could be Walt Disney world or Disneyland, the best themed dining experience and why, what makes it that, you know,

Tim Foster: I worked so hard on this making notes, doing research. I didn't know there was a quiz coming.

Oh my goodness. That's a hard question while you were thinking about. I don't know. I will tell you, I went to the, I w I went to the, uh, believe it or not for the first time in forever, went to the prime time cafe when I was there, which [00:04:00] is a lot of fun. I will tell you, I color myself disappointed. I will say because I put my elbows on the table all through the meal, and I did not get yelled at once and I wanted to so bad.

I even made a point of banging thing, but I'm Kenneth. That's such a great experience though. Um, I, uh, haven't done it yet, but I can't wait to get to dine in space two 20. Cause that seems right up my alley as far as theme dining goes. But, uh, uh, so there's a lot, I'm looking forward to that I haven't done yet.

So I'm going to put my preemptive vote on that.

Lou Mongello: Daniel,

Daniel Roberts: I would say, as we spoke before that I was recently Disneyland that the blue bikes. For me, I don't know to the extent it's themed themed, but it ties in with, um, one of my selections for the top 10, but the fact that you can sort of see part of the ride, um, and that the food itself and the atmosphere ties into the ride is to me.

Incredible. Um, so I would go with blue bio it's sort of, I think Disneyland's answer to the sun unhealed in, in terms of lighting atmosphere, um, proximity to a ride.

Lou Mongello: Yeah. It's interesting. Both of your answers, because for me, it's sort of a little bit of a combination of both because Daniel, I agree. I think a lot of the world showcase restaurants are.

You know, defacto very well themed, but Tim, I also agree with you in terms of space two 20 and the storyline and the immersion, this, this idea of taking the space, elevator up, how your story sort of begins before you even stepped foot onto the restaurant itself. But I want to get into the list itself and Daniel, because this is yours, we'll start with you.

And then Tim, I want to know what's on your [00:06:00] list. And as much as you you're like to, or able to sort of come up with what does this restaurant look and feel like, maybe what does it serve in it? And what factors do you feel contribute to making these, you know, put putting these on your list and making these restaurants so attractive?

So Daniel, Tim, and then.

Daniel Roberts: Okay, great. Um, my first, my number one, I'm taking you, you lads over to frontier land. Now splash mountain is going to undergo a transformation to become princess and the frog themed. I know much fluid doors, Cajun Creole, new Orleans cuisine. So I am going to create Tiana's river house inside splash mountain.

Now here's the, here's the thing you will board your log flume ride vehicle. There will be a reservation centric vehicle. If you have a lunch or dinner reservation after the splash, and after you are stair unaided with Zippy Duda, your ride vehicle will separate on a different track and you will enter.

Low country, the Bayou, it will feel similar to Disneyland's pirates the caves in the beginning, that type of serene, but slightly creepy vibe. It's dark, uh, it's atmospheric and you will end up also there'll be a human sized dryer just in case you got wet during the right. I was going to

Lou Mongello: ask you about that, right?

That was my first concern is going to get this

Tim Foster: complimentary

Daniel Roberts: towel. Yes. And apologies to shape Beck and the shareholders for bottom line, uh, complexities. But you will, um, [00:08:00] enter into this beautiful new Orleans, low country restaurant swampy. Wonderful. Um, think, uh, Cajun food thing, jump a lie, a loose beloved then yes, it will be really cold.

Um, and have that feel again of the cave scenes, which I love and, um, in the beginning of Disneyland pirates, um, and if you book a lunch or dinner reservation, you get a lightning lane for free.

Um, so that is my first idea is to have, because I don't think there's any cage in or Creole restaurants in the parks. I know there are in the resorts, but I don't think there are in the parks. And given the given, um, the reiteration of splash mountain into princess and the frog, I think it would be perfect.

Lou Mongello: So I love this and I w it's actually something similar to this was number two on my list. So great or crazy minds think alike. Daniel indulge me and maybe let me. Maybe we could marry our two ideas because my concept for a princess and the frog themed or inspired restaurant was instead of sort of the literal being in the Bayou, I thought more Tiana's place.

Right. I want sort of her dream to come true and us to be able to live in it. And I actually know exactly where I would put it and it's not in the parks. I would put Tiana's place in paddlefish in Disney Springs. So it actually makes a lot of sense because you've got this riverboat, this was actually supposed to be part of what was going to be a new Orleans theme.

Riverside hotel, shopping dining area. If you go back and listen to, I [00:10:00] don't know what episode it was, we talked all about what this concept was going to be, but the reason why this paddle wheel Steamboat is here is because this was going to be tied to the world's theme hotel. So now you've got Tiana's place in this incredibly wealthy themed rear steam wheel paddle Wheeler.

Um, we've seen, uh, Tiana's place ish inspired restaurant on the Disney wonder, which I love. You've got that Waterside there already. I agree with you, the Creole, the Cajun food ties into the splash mountain update because of the size and the location of the venue, the indoor and outdoor spaces. You can have jazz music as well.

I would in a heartbeat, I think this restaurant would do absolutely incredible. And I think I have all the ones on my list. This is one that I think could actually be a real possibility.

Daniel Roberts: Yeah, yours is way more practical than mine. Uh,

Lou Mongello: and I mean, if you get wet at Tiana's place, something's wrong, but

Daniel Roberts: right.

Yeah. I, I, I, I mean the complexity of having a ride vehicles that bifurcate and to track after you're wet and go into a Cajun restaurant, it's a little tricky, yours, yours makes a little more sense. I would love, I mean,

Lou Mongello: and for my list, I did try and be as relatively practical as possible. Like where could these things go in the current footprint as it sits, and then obviously being considerate of, you know, location engineering and finances

Daniel Roberts: makes sense.

I, it would be great. I think yours could actually happen and actually should, you know, mine will probably not happen, but I love the idea of, I just love the idea of you end a ride at a restaurant. Themed, uh, like the ride, right? That this would be so cool for me,

Lou Mongello: Tim. What's on your list. I

Tim Foster: love it. See, now I, [00:12:00] before I do this, I'm going to, I approach

Lou Mongello: this is where Tim says, I completely thought of something different than all of you guys.


Tim Foster: thought you meant something else. So now I was going to say it's, as far as your, your thought about where is it more practical at paddlefish and we're practical at splash mountain. So whenever we do these kinds of things on our podcast, we do we're playing imaginary. I always say we're playing more on the imagination side of Imagineering, the engineering side, we have engineers.

They can figure out how we're going to put that five story thing on 200 foot stilts in the middle of world showcase the good. That's not my problem. That's someone else's from. So I'm saying that before I get into anything on my list, cause you're probably going to say, how in the world are you going to do anything like that?

But this first one should be easy. I feel like we probably all thought of this right away, but, uh, my first one hands down would be a haunted mansion.

Lou Mongello: I could have bet money.

Tim Foster: I think we all had sooner. I didn't even finish reading the idea. And this was the first thing I thought of, but I mean, obviously this can be the dining room would be themed after the ballroom, the decor, the place settings, the dried flowers, everything.

And I'm thinking you could have the idea of being there. You could have a story behind it that you're, you've joined the 999 happy haunts for the swingy waken, whatever it fits so well in with the story of the haunted mansion. That's a good part. It's not really a stretch to get there. This just. Total sense that you're part of this.

And I'm thinking you could take a lot of the effects that you see in the haunted mansion and put them to work in the restaurant, the peppers, see the projections, all of that kinds of things to make it look like a ghost or flying around above you. Maybe every once in a while, they come out to greet you like a, another franchise that doesn't have a place in Disney, but in Harry [00:14:00] Potter, when all the ghosts came out in that first, in that first movie to say, hello, how are you?

Maybe you have Madame Liotta in her crystal ball is the centerpiece in the middle of the restaurant telling you stories and inviting you along Erie eyes in the wallpaper. One of those effects that we love that came in with the refurbishment. I was going to say recent refurbishment, but it's been quite a while actually.

So, um, but you can have so much fun with the visual effects and the decor. Um, the staff can be in there serving costume, just like they are when they greet. You can have fun with it, uh, either all the time or just as a lunch or breakfast, introduce some villain, character dining while you're at it. Um, make it an experience, maybe not for dinner, but could be a nice lunch thing or something like that.

Um, I was thinking about the menu and I didn't really get into the menu a whole lot on all of this, like specifically planning out the dishes. But I was thinking for this menu, you could borrow a lot from, uh, one of the events that we went to the, we absolutely loved was the villains after hours party that they have in the, and most of the fun we had was going around and trying the food.

Uh, we, we had to paint painting of the roses, red cheese cake for dessert. Oh my gosh. Hearts on fire fruit. The poor, unfortunate souls float. And my favorite and my daughter, we walked all over. Finally founded a Casey's not so sure this would fit the bill of a gore may dinner selection,

Lou Mongello: but how can you go wrong with gore

Tim Foster: gore, man.

See what I did there? Wow. You can't go wrong with the Haiti's hotdog or the Haiti's nachos. And, and, and maybe you make a gourmet burger at gore, may burger out of this, but Hey, these hotdog, if you didn't have it, [00:16:00] this was a hot dog with hot sauce and everything else, but it had a black bud, not a blackened bun, it was black, it's a black, but actually saw a recipe how to do that.

So very cool. Not only was it, you know, hot and spicy her, but it had that ghoulish look and, uh, you know, So I think there's so much fun you could have with a haunted mansion themed restaurant. And I kind of went into this one thinking you all probably had it on your list. So I thought this would be a great one for all of us to talk about.

Cause you probably all had your own ideas about it. So take it

Lou Mongello: away. I'm not going to add too much. It very much was on my list. Um, dining in the ballroom, a lot of exactly what you talked about, the only place that I would sort of divert from your concept is I would sort of eliminate some of the.

Character and IP themed foods. And I would very much put you into the mansion story, like a space to 20, like a star cruiser when you sort of cross that threshold. And even every aspect of the storytelling experience, very heavily themed towards the mansion. And I think there's a lot of mansion story to pull from, especially with, um, You know, the, the attractions, whatever movie eventually is going to come from the mansion, um, comics, et cetera.

And I think you can make this sort of like the match itself, this combination of Mark Davis, whimsy and fanciful and fun yet just almost army edge, a little bit scary in terms of the dining experience itself. Uh, I would not have it include anything, quote unquote from the outside world, but very much put you into the idea that you are dining in master Gracie's mansion.

Daniel Roberts: Absolutely. Um, I, when I, of course it was on my list [00:18:00] as well, and I thought you remember, you guys remember a show called Tony and Tina's wedding. It used to be popular in New York, where there were character you were at a wedding and marriage for better or worse, seems to be the, the prevailing theme of the haunted mansion.

Master Gracie, Emily, et cetera, that you are at a wedding banquet and your surfers are also, uh, task number actors who, you know, they're, they're telling you a story as they serve you lunch or dinner about that. There's some strange, bad actors, as they say, no pun intended, uh, in the house. And you are in that turn of the century, um, new England, uh, mansion you're being served, food that is authentic from that time lobster and maybe pot roast things of that nature.

And you are totally part of the story. And I also thought, as far as the scary elements, the whimsy is the cast members serving you. The scary could be that at certain points, there is darkness. Uh, you hear thunder and Madam Liotta pops up somewhere above you and tells you that, uh, things are a little shaky here in this mansion.

Uh, this, this matrimony might not last.

Lou Mongello: Yeah, I I'm pretty sure anybody who's listening probably does, has to have some sort of imagined derivation themed restaurant on their list. So kudos to both of you. For me, when I started to sort of brain dump my list, I was very happily surprised at what came out first and maybe the one that I'm not only most excited for, but could really be an actual possibility.

I like ideas where they might actually [00:20:00] come to fruition. I don't think this is much of a go with me here, but inspired by the recent film. What do you think of the magic Al family Colombian kitchen. And think about this in a Colombian pavilion in world showcase even someplace like fantasy land, where much like the film itself, it takes inspiration from real Colombian talents.

Like I know about a shadow was sort of the inspiration here where you can not just show. The, the magical family, but the diversity of Columbia where it's not just, you know, Marine and Bogota, but there's indigenous people as well. And the food has such a wide spectrum of flavors. I had a very long relationship with someone whose family was from Columbia.

So I, I have some firsthand knowledge and experience in this. Um, but depending on where you are in Columbia, there's indigenous foods and African and Caribbean and, and, um, indigenous and, and, you know, uh, um, even a European and middle Eastern type food inspiration. So. I'm thinking that the rice and the avocado and the plantations and the cassava and the rapists, and Banuelos the type of food that they can serve would be amazing.

But I love the idea of being in the Madrigal family's kitchen. Like you have think of almost, um, in Italy, uh, via Napoli where you're sort of in this big dining room almost as if you're in someone's house. And it has that giant table in the middle. That's almost how I imagined dining in the magical family's kitchen would be.

And that would be the theme that you are a guest that's being invited over and welcomed into this truly magical and special, and probably also delicious smelling place, the food, the colors, the music, [00:22:00] all of this tied in together, maybe with a little sprinkling of magic, special effects here and there.

Day one, sign me up for magic golf family, Colombian kitchen.

Daniel Roberts: As long as they take me, I'm in,

Tim Foster: I love

Lou Mongello: it. So

Tim Foster: I'm

Daniel Roberts: hungry. Okay. Um, my mother-in-law is from Uruguay and I would love, um, I think that it would be great to sort of, uh, disabuse guests of the notion that south American food equals Mexican food because they're quite starkly different. And the flavors of man, the flavors of, of Colombia and you spoke of, um, all the different ethnic influences, extraordinary.

Like it's so complex. I don't know where to start, but I would I'll, I'll be there with you. I'll be holding hands with you guys. Um, all right. My, my number two. Is the Mar saline express in homage to Walt Disney himself. This will occur somehow some way. I'm sort of, I'm like Tim and that I'm letting Lou and shape it, figure out the details.

So, um, this will occur in, uh, main street USA. It is a rail. It is a train themed railroad themed restaurant. You enter and similar to another amusement park in Orlando where a speckle borough nerd also has a train experience ride that connects to places outside your window. You will see virtually the [00:24:00] countryside outside of main street USA.

Which will be based upon, uh, Marsalis, Missouri, where, uh, well, grew up was born. You will have conductors. It will be a 45 minute experience outside. You will see the passing countryside. It will take place. Um, turn of the century, the tasks, the numbers will be dressed appropriately. You will receive, um, a collectible lunch pail.

Uh, it'll be catered by Earl of sandwich. You choose a sandwich, very simple, and a beverage. There'll be beer cocktails in a can, water, lemonade, et cetera. Um, you get to keep your lunch pail. They are, will all be different. Um, you start and you stop. You get off. You hear all about. And you get to your station when you exit you're back in main street USA, it's totally rail.

If you'll feel the bumps along the way, it'll be very soothing. Um, outside, there'll be scenes again of the countryside. And when you alight back in main street, USA, you'll feel like you've traveled some distance. You've been fed you open entertained, and there will be informative videos or a movie or something about Walt Disney's love of trains, uh, to entertain you along the way.

Lou Mongello: I love it. I dig every part of it, man.

Tim Foster: I, I make, I feel like I'm not going to really have a lot of time to eat, cause I'm going to be crying so much. I love that idea.

Lou Mongello: Sign me.

Tim Foster: Well, I'm, I'm glad that Daniel did that one. Cause my next one, I wasn't sure which one to go next, but I'm going to go with this cause it kind of piggybacks onto his a little bit and there's a lot of moving parts in this one.

So you guys might need to help me out with some particulars, but I'm thinking ahead to, uh, [00:26:00] we've had our 50th anniversary. Of course, the big one Epcot it's coming up on its big birthday of 40 years. And I thought it would be cool if we could do this in Epcot somewhere, but have a restaurant that really puts you in what would have been Epcot the city as if that city actually.

Existed and Walt Disney was able to pull it off and we're there. And I think it, it can be, you're kind of mixing a bunch of things together, the idea of, of the city. And you're there, the world's fair, the world showcase elements of what would have been that city. It would tie in with all the anniversaries that are, uh, have come and are coming up.

So, you know, within the restaurant, it could be themed as if you're in the city. I was kind of stuck on a time and place for this cause. And my, in my head, I really want to go back to those, to the, to the sixties in that era, kind of the same vibe you get when you would see Walt Disney's office in one man's dream.

And you're kind of back in the day, it's not the future, but it's kind of retro cools. But maybe outside the windows, uh, we have, uh, views of this, of the city and you could see how it would have worked. You see the people movers moving around and, uh, and all sorts of things we could pick up on some of the themes from the 64 New York world's fair and what it had in keeping with the world's fair idea of what Epcot was going to be and what future world sort of became.

Now we can bring back some decor and theming from it's, a small world and carousel of progress and the Ford magic Skyway, even great moments with Mr. Lincoln having, uh, showing the cars and people movers from the magic Skyway particular, uh, maybe even bring back the tower of the four wind sculpture, a centerpiece or something out front of this restaurant.[00:28:00]

And, and again, the whole, the ideas, it just takes you back to. Did exist. This is what it would be like to be dining in the heart of this great metropolis. And as far as food, I didn't really get that far with it, but I was looking at what they were serving at the world's fair, a lot, lot of food at the 64.

World's fair. I will tell you, but, but did you know that the sangria was introduced to America at the world's fair as were Belgian waffles? So I think those can be a mainstay. Um, one thing they had though, which was cool that they did a sandwich garden at the 64 world's fair, which had, it was a buffet with.

Selections from countries from all around the world. So why not do that same thing with world showcase? Because short of food and wine festival, it's not really a good place in one spot to kind of sample everything. So this'll be a great opportunity to do it since they were going to have an international, bizarre market area in Epcot, the city that was on the drawing board.

So this would be a great way to play homage to that and to bring it back so we can all experience what might have been.

Lou Mongello: This is interesting because it, it touches on the nostalgia and sentiment of fans that love not just the world's fair, but Disney's connection to it while still being sort of forward.

Think I was trying to picture in my mind's eye, as you were describing this, what this would look and feel like, you know, are there sort of real windows out onto world showcase and future world, and maybe some of those portal, like star cruiser space, two 20 windows out to the city that never was that what had always dreamed it could be.

So you do get a sense of the reality, the fantasy, the past present and future all combined into one location. Yeah, just like that.

Tim Foster: I thought it would be cool because the more you read about the [00:30:00] city and what the plans were and what it could have been a new year so much. I so wish I would have lived there.

Maybe this would be a fun way to have a little glimpse and timely. Cause then we can get into the nostalgia and history as we're celebrating Scott's 40th birthday and kind of the whole Florida project idea. And, uh, maybe replay a Walt Disney's Epcot film. It's somewhere in the lobby over and over and over.

So we can see it pointing out as he's pointing to the map and describing it and all that kind of stuff.

Lou Mongello: I like it. So for the next one on my list, I want to preface it by saying that not all of these need to be fancy, sit down restaurants. And I present to you, my friend, the lucky cat cafe, which I'm hoping you know, is from.

Big hero six. Right? So big hero, six, remember hero. And Tadashi, Hamata lived in San Francisco with her aunt Cass who runs the lucky cat cafe, which I picture potentially. I don't know if that I would put it in the Japan pavilion because I liked the Japan with Lilian to stay just like, but this is something that could exist in Disney's Hollywood studios.

It could exist in Disney Springs. And I imagine this being, not just a coffee shop, but more like a Japanese tea shop with donuts and desserts and maybe even some, a Cass's famous pot. I I'm. I love this is no, no shock. I love Japanese food and history and culture. I loved I'm a tea drinker. So you have this wide selection of, of matches and cinches and and you can FIM the restaurant just as if it came off that sort of corner, open glass, walled diner, um, you know, with the apartment upstairs, [00:32:00] I think it's timely because we know that the Baymax series is coming to Disney plus.

Spoiler alert at some point, um, he is owned to be part of what's going on over at the lucky cat cafe. So I think it, it touches for me personally. I love big hero, six for a million different reasons. It touches with not having to have this huge, expensive sit-down restaurant, uh, super wealthy. I think something like this would be a huge hit in Disney Springs.

My vote is for the lucky cat cafe.

Daniel Roberts: I'm there. Nice. Love it

Lou Mongello: back to you, Dan. This is number seven. If I'm keeping someone

Daniel Roberts: and this is my third. Yeah. Three. Yes. Okay. I am taking you guys. To the tower of terror.

Lou Mongello: I'll tell you right now, Timmy,

Daniel Roberts: Timmy, you don't me. You don't have to go on the

Tim Foster: road. I'm kidding. I'm going I'm with your restaurant.

I really want to hear this. I love this idea already. I'm there, I'm there. So this restaurant,

Daniel Roberts: every meal, every lunch, every dinner takes place on Halloween night, 1939. It, the menu is going to be age specific to the date. Think oysters, Rockefeller, chilled, soups shops, um, all this old fashion stuff, your waiters and waitresses, cast members, similar to Victoria and Albert will either be called Scott or Zelda.

After the Fitzgeralds, there will be drama in the air. There will be Halloween masks. It'll always be night. There will be lightning [00:34:00] and thunder outside. You will be served this anachronistic amazing meal. And every time you go, it's the cusp. It's on the cusp of the events that happen in the ride itself.

The theming will be very similar to the lobby of the tower hotel suns. The cobwebs. There will actually be two cast members who will be playing a chess game, which is similar from the lobby and they will be professional chess players. Whose goal is to have a stalemate. There will be old fashioned cocktails.

Desserts will be flung bays. This will be fancy time. However, you can come in shorts and flip-flops everyone else. We dress dress better fantasy. There there'll be music playing things for boating in the air. Your servers as cast members will start complaining to you about the hotel, about its owner, about strange things that have been happening.

They will say whatever you do, don't get a job here. Don't go in the service elevator. Something bad is going to happen. You will leave with old-fashioned flapper era, jazz era, wonderful Halloween masks. You will want to come back.

Lou Mongello: So I dig this a lot, Dan, a one, because not only do I love the tower of terror theme, the little bit of.

Mystery and foreboding and horror, but I also love the era. I love the thirties and forties. I love the Ellington Miller Garlin holiday Armstrong music. I know like I'm an old man in that regard, but, um, I think this too again, because it's not something that would be scary on its [00:36:00] face is something that would be attractive to guests who maybe like Tim do not like the tower of terror.

Daniel Roberts: Right? Totally. Actually I forgot that the music, it would be very, it would be very important. It would, it would play those standards from the thirties and forties, which is iconic to the ride. And it would put you in an easy mood. Yeah. It wouldn't frighten you and the food would be good. It would just be a different, um, maybe it will be labeled, you know, always just Rockefeller, but instead it would just be, I don't know, extreme case of DIA.

I'm not sure.

Tim Foster: Yeah, I was nervous. I was nervous. You were, and I'm there. I, despite what you say, Lou, I'm going with

Daniel Roberts: you to

Tim Foster: maybe I don't go on the ride, but I'm definitely going to this restaurant and I'm, I I'm, I I'm sure I'm going now because when you were talking, I was just a little nervous that you were going to implement your splash mountain idea into making it.

You have to ride the tower of terror. And if you're dining at the restaurant, your elevator will go to another place. And I was thinking you were going to make me go through that or deal, but as long as we're cool there, no, I'm all about this. This is great.

Daniel Roberts: No, it's not obligatory to ride. You can just walk right in.

And you're, you know, you're in this scene from Halloween night, 1939.

Tim Foster: Yeah. I like knowing a shorts and flip-flops are welcome too. That was.

Let's see. Oh gosh, I got three more, but I only have one turn. I think I'll do one. And then, Hey, we're going to have honorable mentions, right? That of course. All right. Let me do this one then. Um, I thought we could have a, cause we love him. We adore him a figment imagination, pavilion themed dining experience somewhere.

Where are we going to put this? [00:38:00] Can we put it upstairs? I don't know. That's what the engineers are for. Do we take over the millennium village? I don't know that's what the Imagineers for, but I was thinking for theming for this restaurant, we actually go back to the original version of the attraction.

And if we, and if we have different themed areas, instead of going sight and sound and tickle and touch and whatever, all those were all about, but who we do, like an art area, literature areas, science areas, and all that, but the decor, it would be colorful and zany. Uh, some of it, if not, all of it would be like you're in figments house, not necessarily upside down, cause that's a little tough to eat when you're hanging upside down.

But I think it would be really cool. If you say a lot of opportunities for you to flex your creativity during your dining experience. And that can be as simple as having tablecloths, you can draw on and contribute to something they had at the festival of the arts recently, which I think would be really.

And again, the particulars of how you do this. We leave too much smarter people than I, but if you had murals at some place, either in the waiting area or in the dining room itself, where you could go up there, paint by number and you can contribute any time. So over the course of the day or the week or whatever, this, these murals, these paintings get created by, uh, the people that are dying there and you can see this come to life.

So, and Hey, how about for dessert? You have a, like an artist palette, like their version of the kitchen sink would be like a big artist. Palliate come out with all kinds of different, uh, toppings and colors and everything. And you can paint, create your own desserts. As far as food goes, I was going to go.

Do we go really imaginative and wacky like purple, macaroni, and cheese. And [00:40:00] I thought it's kind of getting a little and disgusting, but maybe have fun. You have deconstructed cheeseburgers, upside down spaghetti meatballs, just all kinds of weird stuff like that, um, to where it's fun. And it's, it's crazy.

It's, it's familiar food, but it's got a twist on it. And, and who knows maybe of the dream catcher itself in the middle of the room, beeping, you know, puffing, smoke and all kinds of stuff during your meal. But I think as much as they can have you, the guest. Be part of the story, be part of the creativity yourself and contribute to everything you see around you.

That will be cool. Like they've done it. There's some, uh, I guess I haven't been there, but restaurants on some Disney cruises that start like that, like, uh, there's an artist one where it's, doesn't it start like black and white and over the course of your meal, it becomes colorful and that kind of thing.

So just stuff like that. Hey, and maybe the entrance. It's the rainbow tunnel you walk through to get here. There you

Lou Mongello: go. I love that one. Um, it was, I just wrote the word imagination on my honorable mention list because I, I wanted to incorporate the character and concept without sort of flushing out a full idea.

So I think it would be the perfect addition to Epcot future world and that pavilion. And I think that there's for a practical perspective, there's actually space to go ahead and do that for me. Something that I knew that had to be on the list. If this actually took me some time to really try and think it out, I didn't want it to say, well, I want to have this idea.

I don't know what it's going to look like. And I think I may have figured it out because when we think about themed character, IP inspired Dani experiences, especially. Because of what we've seen happen on the star cruiser, what we've seen happen in Avengers [00:42:00] campus in other theme locations overseas, assuming all licensing is okay.

We want, we need, we have to have some sort of Marvel theme, dining experiences here. And so I present to you the Marvel superhero diner. Now again, I come from Jersey where diners are a thing. It's not here in Florida, but a diner is just basically, it's a small, casual informal restaurant that usually has like a 17 page menu.

Um, a lot of them, especially early on, were sort of made from or meant to look like railroad cars. It doesn't have to necessarily be like that. This is a concept I actually found out was, uh, actually tried in universal Hollywood back in 1998 for just about a year. It was like this weird mashup of Marvel and planet Hollywood, having a baby calling Marvel mania.

And it really was just like props from the world of Marvel. Um, we're getting something on the Disney wish we're gonna get this world of Marvel. Dining experience cycle, right? Login with a loner, a frozen dinner show, star wars, hyperspace lounge. But I wanted something that feels like it came right out of a comic book and, or the Marvel cinematic universe.

And the reason why I chose the diner is it, this is going to be something theme too, and specifically placed in not just the Northeast, but in New York, because there are so many like Purdue, like prominent Marvel characters that live and work and do their superhero thing in New York. Spider-Man Daredevil.

Dr. Strange captain America from Brooklyn, Jessica Jones, Luke cage, Punisher iron fist, which all by the way are coming over to Disney plus iron man. Remember the first Avengers tower was in the city [00:44:00] cloak and dagger. Fantastic for moon night miles Morales. Like there was a lot of character inspiration and story inspiration to draw from.

So it could be something as simple as this themed diner slash cafe, all the way up to something that is more of an interactive dinner theater restaurant with two hour long shows like, like a hooptie. Do I want to see something more than a Pym test kitchen? Um, but somewhere in, but I think having this be this casual come and go.

Maybe even no reservation required type dining diner experience would be perfect. And I even have the location for it. And it's already built because sitting in Disney Springs empty and abandoned is the NBA experience, which just received a very big, very expensive and extensive build-out. So infrastructure is already there, again, forgetting the practicalities of the licensing, you know, uh, that Disney does or does not have access to, but the Marvel themed superhero diner themed, after that New York style diner right there in Disney Springs.

So you don't even need a park ticket for me would be the perfect place, the perfect venue, the perfect dining experience.

Tim Foster: Oh, I am. I am. So they're actually had on my one, my honorable mentions on my list. I don't know where you put it. I want to go to that. Shwarma joint a couple blocks away and just, you know, try it out.

Lou Mongello: Come let's go to a vendor's campus in Disneyland and I will buy you shawarma.

Tim Foster: Excellent. Excellent. I love that.

Lou Mongello: I actually, Lou,

Daniel Roberts: I'm sorry. I have a diner. I haven't competing diner. Unfortunately, [00:46:00]

Lou Mongello: it's a, it's not a competing diner. It's more like a complimentary diner there's room for everybody. Go to route nine in, in Middlesex county.

There's no such thing as competing daughters. Cause there's no.

Daniel Roberts: I grew up in New York city and there was a diner called the skyline on 73rd and Lexington. The kitchen was maybe an 80 square feet that the two chefs in there were bumping backs, bumping elbows. The men who described legitimately was close to seven pages that laminated plastic.

Um, they had everything, everything came up perfectly. You saw taxi drivers and police guys at night. The police put at night, I just went there with my family, was like, it was like our Starbucks of the seventies and eighties. Right. You got stuff done there. You did work. You got, we spoke. It was cheap. It was quick.

It was amazing

Lou Mongello: booths and there's tables. And there's the counter. Like you sit right at the counter and the cook just sort of put your food right up there

Daniel Roberts: for. Right. And there's always like the coconut cream pie fresh right there for some reason, man, man. Oh man. Am I opera? We on the honorable

Lou Mongello: mentions?

I think we can sort of hint are, you can sort of lump your number one, unless you have sort of a major number one. You want to throw down you can I have a quick one?

Daniel Roberts: Sure. I have a quick one. Okay. You might not like this. This is a go with me boys. Sorry.

Tim Foster: I love it already.

Daniel Roberts: Okay. We're going to bring to tomorrow then the magic kingdom, a healthy choice, which is the orange bird cafe.

Ooh, this will be energetic smoothies. This will be some salads. The orange bird as a character will be present. Um, [00:48:00] this will be a place that if you are a vegan or any of that, You can go, you can get, um, all sorts of things. You can get ginger infused drinks. You can get wonderful. Probably the world's best fresh orange juice.

There will be a plus. Of orange bird inspired merge. There will be beautiful lighting. It will, and there will be sort of futuristic messages about your intestinal health delivering bird himself.

Lou Mongello: This will be the intestinal health pavilion.

Daniel Roberts: Exactly. Anyway, I thought that I, I honestly like there are times when I'm in, in busy world where I want to, I want a smoothie.

I don't want coffee. I don't want a soda. You know, it's early. I want to smooth, I want that to be my breakfast, yogurt, Greek yogurt based something, protein powders, stuff like that.

Lou Mongello: I think the orange word smoothie stand works. I think I love it. I liked it. I believe it or not. I actually have eaten healthy food in the past.

You would not know by looking at me. So thank you. Um, I think you could put this in adventure land, right? Tying to the whole origins word himself, put a, an orange word smoothie stand, um, in adventure land. So anything else on your honorable mention list?

Daniel Roberts: I do have one more and this is a credit to my friend, uh, Richard Adams, who coined the phrase nosh

This would be. This could be a restaurant where you would die. It would be a diner. This is the competing diner. You would die on diner food, uh, from the 50, 60 seventies, et cetera. However, [00:50:00] here's the twist you would, your table would be an extent, right? Like Mr. Toad, uh, 20,000 leaves journey into imagination, any ride that has been retired would become your vehicle.

I mean, your table, and there would be a nostalgic menu and there would be a gift shop. Bottom line. There would be a gift shop where you would be able to purchase, um, you know, nostalgic, uh, souvenirs from those rides because we all as Disney fans, we miss those rides. We loved them. And this would be a way to notch Soulja.

Lou Mongello: I just love the name. I like, listen, I stopped listening after I like nostalgia. Somebody gonna some reasonably pick up on that. Um, Tim, what about you? Would it be honorable mention or Mount Rollman? Shaun's

Tim Foster: um, well I got a couple of them, so I'll go through these. So since we're going to move the, I can't get over the intestinal, uh, Goodwill of sorry guys.

No, no, I love that. But since we're going to move that over to adventure landing is a good idea. Tomorrow land. This should be easy to do it. We gonna have some sushi in tomorrow land. Cause we're going to put Harry housing's in there and he'll and you don't, you don't have to go too far to look at the theme.

You can just recreate what was in the movie and. Yeah, some stuff that it can be so much fun. Now. I don't know if you go literally from the menu that really was Harry housings in the movie, terrible Terry yucky and icky is Chicago. You can have fun with that, but, uh, you know, I, I do want, um, blueberry slob blur and green tea, ice cream for [00:52:00] dessert.

And for, for those who want, you got your Saki hot Saki, flaming Saki, but that would be, that would be so much cool. And obviously you can connect it with monsters and Klaff floor and all that kind of stuff. Ready to go. The other one, I thought

Lou Mongello: that the exact thing was on my list as well. Really

Tim Foster: well, as sushi, I figured that you had to be in there somewhere.

So, uh, uh, the other one, I had a, again, the practicalities, I don't even know if this is possible, but if there's room in the tree of life, I don't know if there is, but if not build something, I say, recreate the bug bar from a bug's life. Just like we have OGIS Cantina and Galaxy's edge. You go in, you hang out that, that the tables are bottle caps.

Like they are in the movie. If they can recreate in real life, I don't know how they would do it. But the idea of your beverage comes in this big bubble that you can suck it from like a water drop. I don't know how you would do that, but that would be, that would be a lot of. Um, and have fun with the dessert dessert you could have, like those mud pies you make with the cookie crumbles into gummy worms and all of that kind of stuff.

You have itsy bitsy, spider playing in the background, this circus bugs perform. It could be a whole thing. I'll

Lou Mongello: do a blue bladder though. I, to you, I have a few honorable mentions, but I'm going to really sit back, relax when I'm going to go through them very quickly. I promise I just got off the Disney magic, where they have a Rapunzel themed restaurant.

I would love a snuggly duckling lounge somewhere in Walt Disney world. And they do an amazing tangled show there. I imagine the characters and the music and the sing along and the fun that you can have. I also love the classic classics. Like to me, Aladdin for a lot of people, it's going to be a classic classic.

I love that film. I imagine converting the now empty restaurant Marrakesh into an Arabian nights and days restaurant. You've got a huge space that [00:54:00] great sort of dance floor area in the middle that you can have a show. You can have kids get up and dance, whatever you also don't get to see the Aladdin characters other than Jasmine very much.

So I imagine a Latin and abou and Jasmine and genie coming out for this wonderful theatrical type experience of film that I have for years hoped and wished and dreamed would have more of a presence in the parks might not combine my two lobes of food and Wally, maybe a little by and large owned and operated restaurant cafe snack stand somewhere in Tomorrowland.

Maybe you do something cool where you have the. Little robot, robot, AI type characters or servers you can have, if you have tables, maybe, um, you order by using these interactive screens at your table without a server, having to come over, unless you have a special need, et cetera. And these little robot things sort of just bring your trays over to you somehow some way Wally in the parks.

Um, I mentioned my love of tea and Alison Wonderland popped into my mind and this sort of this themed, maybe a tea experience, almost like the, um, the tea at the grand Floridian, but maybe not something as, um, formal or fanciful. Um, it could be sort of this ongoing unbirthday party. You can even, maybe you, maybe you do make it something that is this one hour or two hour long themed experience.

And multiple times throughout the days, Marsha Paul in France, just go ahead and convert over to Gustos. It just makes all the sense in the world. And I want to resurrect somewhat of an abandoned concepts. That's I hope I still believe in my heart of hearts that we are going to get. More Muppets in Walt Disney world, especially with some things that have been happening [00:56:00] are that are coming the great Gonzo's pandemonium pizza parlor.

We talked about it on past episodes where we talked about the Muppets and lost concepts over at Disney's Hollywood studios, where Gonzo and Rizzo would be running this pizza parlor where animatronic Muppet rats would be delivering pizza by using this train track system. Um, there'd be video clips. It'd be pandemonium, obviously in the kitchen props on walls and gags.

Um, there was actually, you know, there was actually another concept called the hard luck cafe that was pitched for. Um, the, the parks sort of based on the hard rock cafe, but it was themed around Dr. T and the electric mayhem, which by the way, is coming to Disney plus and a new mud Muppets memes, um, uh, series.

So the space that was originally intended for this restaurant became mama Melrose. Obviously, now we have Russo's, uh, pizza Rizzo, but maybe there's a way to sort of convert pizza resos into something a little bit more fun and fanciful with the great Gonzo's pandemonium pizza parlor so that it was no go quick.

I went as quick as I could with my, because when you start thinking about these, this is part of the fun, right? It really does get your creative juices flowing and anything is on the table. And it's interesting, sort of where we all pulled from, whether it was the parks or the movies. Marvel, you know, there was, it's funny, there was no sort of mention of anything star wars there.

Wasn't a lot of Pixar mentioned, but that's why I want to sort of present this idea to you. Our friend, who's been sitting here listening with us. What would you like to see? What is the themed dining concept that you would love to see? I'm giving you unlimited budget. I'm giving you sort of unlimited engineering freedom to pick what you would like.

I would love to hear your thoughts and you can let me know by posting I'll post [00:58:00] this question over in the clubhouse at WW radio.com/clubhouse. That is our group over on Facebook. You can also email me lou@www.com, but better yet. Call the voicemail at (407) 900-9391. Leave a voicemail. Let me hear it. Let me hear exactly what your concept would be like a gentleman of all the things that we were that we made.

From all three of us, if there was one that you wish tomorrow could come to life, whether it was yours or somebody else's, what do you think

Daniel Roberts: it would be? I would do some version of our Tiana's place. I think I just, I love that cuisine. I love the vibe. Um, I think it's needed there. Having gone to Disneyland and enjoyed, uh, blue by you.

I just would love it. And Disney

Tim Foster: world, uh, for me, I, you didn't even get halfway through the pitch for this episode and I went haunted mansion. So it would absolutely be haunted mansion to the point where I'm even going to recreate that in my own house. Somehow I'm going to Wally restaurant. I'd love that Wally restaurant.

Lou Mongello: Yeah. And it looked at, at the end of the day, this is just a fun thing to sort of conceptualize and play around with, which is why I'm so curious to hear. What you listening has to think and what sort of ideas we never even came across. They're probably going to give us some of those aha moments as well.

And then of course, please go and visit Tim foster and all the good stuff that he's doing. Tim. He got a lot of stuff going on. He got celebrations, magazine guide to the magic, the podcast pins. I don't even know what else you're up to. I'll tell

Tim Foster: you what I w we still have plenty of our 50th anniversary collectors books available with the pins and Lou, I am working on a.

About Epcot. It's going to be out in time for Epcot, 40th anniversary, every attraction, all the history, all that fun stuff. So [01:00:00] big, big announcement there. So lots of stuff, I'm kind of busy these

Lou Mongello: days that, um, that, uh, again, we talk about the nostalgia and the sentiment. I know that's going to touch a lot of people in a lot of places.

You could find all Tim foster stuff over at celebrations, press.com and Daniel Roberts. You too. My friend have also been busy doing stuff, tell people if they want to, where they can find you. And some of the stuff you've been working on.

Daniel Roberts: Well, I'm, I'm a venture capitalists, but avocationally, I've written my first novel, which is called barmaid, which is a, uh, sort of, uh, dark romantic comedy.

It was a USA today, bestseller plug, plug plug, and you can find it on Amazon or wherever you buy your books bar made by Daniel Roberts. Um, if you like it, uh, leave a good review and actually I'm going to send you one Lu shortly.

Lou Mongello: Awesome. And I will link to that and all the Tim fosters good stuff in the show notes over at WTTW WDW, radio.com.

Daniel Roberts. Thank you for the idea. Thank you for your incredible generosity to the dream team project and Tim foster. Thank you for just being you brother.

Tim Foster: Thanks.

Lou Mongello: Am I, the only one that's starving by the way, am I the only person?

Tim Foster: And do you know it's pie day today?

Daniel Roberts: Oh, really? Oh,

Lou Mongello: that's right. It's fine.

Yep. I know where I'm going now. Tim foster, I've seen for you. It looks like every day is PI day.

Daniel Roberts: Oh my God.