Were you looking to get a pet banshee from Pandora? Looks like you may have to wait a while. Is this something you are interested in?If you’re went to a Disney park last year, it may have felt quieter than usual. (I don’t know about you, but it sure didn’t seem quieter to me! According to the stats, it was though!)Speaking of attendance, here are some interesting and well thought out theories on why Universal is closing the gap. What do you think about all this?Oh my gosh! Look at how far along the Slinky Dog Dash Coaster is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! This land is going to be opening a lot sooner than I think I was initially thinking!Money takes a look at 10 Secrets to Saving Money at Disney and Universal. Do you use any of these tips or have another great one you want to share?This week, Disney closed a FastPass+ loophole. Does this impact you?Holy cow! Travel + Leisure broke down and made a list ranking every single Walt Disney World attraction. What came in as number one? Guess you’ll have to read to find out. Do you agree with their assessment?I think I’m going to have to change my Apple Watch face….At the Disney Parks, you can now get light up cotton candy! What?! How awesome is this?!Want to know what other food item people are loosing their minds over? It’s Groot Bread. (Not gonna lie, if this was available at Walt Disney World while I was there for Memorial Day Weekend, I would have bought it!)Did you see the new preview for the upcoming Disney Channel show “Raven’s Home“? Who else will be watching this one? (It premieres on July 21 after Descendants 2!)Meet the cast of characters for the upcoming Pixar film, Coco. (PS: the poster is really cool.)Want to get your first glimpse at Mary Poppins Returns? EW has it!Wow! This is cool! Take a look at how Dan Stevens actually performed as The Beast in Beauty and the Beast. I didn’t realize all the work they put into this, so this really is astonishing to see!Who says you can’t learn anything at Universal? Thanks to this video series, you can learn about some of the science behind their attractions. The More You Know….Looking to attend Halloween Horror Nights? Tickets are now on sale!Are you looking forward to seeing Despicable Me 3? Well, now you can see one of the new characters from the film in the Superstar Parade.Take a unique look at the upcoming and innovative Adventura Hotel! Are you looking forward to experiencing this new hotel?We have new info about Fast & Furious: Supercharged now, including the fact that this attraction will feature the new Virtual Line queuing system.In Case We Missed It What did we miss? Attach your ideas to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and send it to email@example.com with the words “In Case You Missed It” in the subject line. Share This!Wow….I know that summer hasn’t even officially happened, but does any one else feel like it’s already whizzing by? I feel like before I know it, I’ll be back to buying Halloween candy and well, pumpkin everything. Better make sure I enjoy things while I can!This week, we get to learn some money saving tips, see which treats are totally Instagram favorites, and learn more about Universal’s next attractions. Oh, plus a lot of other really great tidbits too! There’s so much great news this week! What did you miss?In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and Rumors
SatSunMonTuesWedThurFri Fantasmic!2200002 Pixar Fireworks1111111 California Adventure9-118-1110-910-910-910-98-9 As per usual, the parks will open one hour early for eligible guests at Disneyland Park Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and at Disney California Adventure Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Resort guests can take advantage of these hours every day of their stay for Extra Magic Hours, while guests eligible for Magic Mornings can use that benefit one day at Disneyland Park only. Full park hours can be found by clicking on each date in the Crowd Calendar.RefurbishmentsThe refurbishment list is thankfully pretty short right now. At Disneyland Park, Pirates of the Caribbean is closed to transition to the new auction scene, and Space Mountain will be offline very briefly on May 3 to transition to Hyperspace Mountain that evening. Over at California Adventure, the Boardwalk Games at Paradise Pier and Mickey’s Fun Wheel are closed during the area’s conversion to Pixar Pier, and World of Color is dark during Pixar Fest, but the remainder of the park is all up and running. Check out our refurbishments page for details on exactly what will be down and for how long.Looking ahead, Disney recently announced that “a bug’s land” would be closing to make way for more Marvel attractions at California Adventure. It will be going away for good towards the end of the summer, so make sure you plan ahead if you’d like to see it before it disappears.That should do it for this week’s preview. Check back next week and every week to find out what’s coming down the pike. Got questions? Aware of anything else that prospective guests should know about? Let us know in the comments. Paint The Night2211111 ShowSatSunMonTueWedThuFri Share This!This week, we see a Star Wars-themed Disneyland After Dark, and special festivities for Star Wars Day, a/k/a May the Fourth. Read on to find out about this and more in this week’s Disneyland preview.Special Events and Notes© DisneyWe still have a while before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, but there’s still loads of Star Wars fun to be had towards the end of this week! Thursday night is the latest installment of Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite, which will feature a meet and greet with Rey, the premiere of the March of the First Order, and the return of Hyperspace Mountain, the outstanding Star Wars overlay for Space Mountain, in addition to other Star Wars-themed merriment. You should be aware that tickets are already sold out, so if you don’t already have tickets, Disneyland Park will be closing at 9 pm on Thursday for you.The Star Wars fun continues on May the Fourth, and the good news is that many of those special events and opportunities will be available to the masses on Friday; if you’re not able to make it on Thursday, you’ll have a chance to see Rey, watch Captain Phasma, and pick up special Star Wars merchandise the following day. Hyperspace Mountain will also be available to everyone staring May 4.Friday is also Grad Nite at Disney’s California Adventure. That park will host a private party after regular park hours, but there will be more teenagers in the parks that day prior to the evening event as well.It’s also still Pixar Fest! During this festival, which runs through September 3, you’ll find Pixar-themed fireworks and the Pixar Play Parade at Disneyland Park, and the return of Paint the Night at Disney California Adventure, in addition to other Pixar-focused activities and opportunities. There will also be special dining opportunities available, as one would expect, and the Alien Pizza Planet will be launching at Disneyland Park for the occasion. Make sure you check out Rikki’s preview of the Festival!As if often the case for these events, there is a special area for Passholders. Stop by the AP Corner for Pixar decals (new ones rotating in every two weeks) and themed photo locations. The AP Corner can be found at Paradise Gardens at Disney California Adventure and runs through June 8.Finally, Cove Bar remains open through the end of May for its last hurrah, if you’d like to give it another go before it goes away for good!CrowdsThe weekend will see some pretty substantial crowds, clocking in at level 9 and 8, but the week should have average to slightly above average crowd levels.Full details, including park-by-park crowd levels, are available on our Crowd Calendar.WeatherShould be a very nice week at Disneyland! Highs mostly in the 70s, lows in the mid- to upper 50s, and only a scant chance of rain in the middle of the week.As always, it’s wise to double check the weather as the day of your visit approaches. Check out the most up-to-date forecast here.ShowsDisneyland has a special slate of shows running for a bit for Pixar Fest, with the evening fireworks at Disneyland Park being replaced by Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular (featuring a flying Buzz Lightyear!) and World of Color being replaced by the Paint the Night parade at DCA. Also, the Pixar Play Parade joins the daytime schedule at Disneyland Park. Fantasmic! will continue to run, but only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Detailed show schedules, including smaller diversions like Jambalaya Jazz, can be found here. Disneyland9-128-129-109-109-109-98-12 Pixar Play Parade2211112 Admission and HoursBlockouts are really only an issue on the weekends this time of year. Southern California Select Passholders are blocked out Saturday and Sunday, whereas Deluxe and Southern California Passholders are only blocked out Saturday. All other passes are honored every day this week. For those of you buying tickets as day guests, single-day tickets are at Regular Price ($117/$110) Saturday, Sunday, and Friday, and Value Price ($97/$91) the remainder of the week.Regular park hours (excluding Extra Magic Hours/Magic Mornings) are as follows this week:
Share This!I recently tried the Jaleo Experience at Jaleo at Disney Springs and found it to be both delicious and a fantastic value for the amount and quality of food presented.My husband, Jeff, and I arrived at the restaurant overwhelmed and dehydrated after a flight from New York and a slog through the Orlando heat. (Narrator voice: They were cranky.) I immediately ordered an attitude adjustment cocktail: the “Cropping Rope,” created with Crop cucumber vodka, Lillet Blanc, green chartreuse, and lime ($14). Jeff stuck with Diet Coke and then water.Cropping Rope cocktailSlightly refreshed, but still a bit addled from travel, we scanned the dozens of menu items which all looked fantastic, but daunting to weed through, until I saw the “Chefs Tasting Menu.” To me, tasting menu means “someone else decides so you don’t have to,” which is always a good thing when you’re exhausted.We weren’t sure we were in a $110 per person mood (that takes stamina), so we skipped past the Jose’s Way, but asked our server about the $70 per person Jaleo Experience. She described it as, “Twelve of the most popular items on the menu – the ones that guests always rave about – with a balance of light and more substantial dishes.” Sold!Here’s what we got …Serrano ham and Manchego cheese.“Pan de Cristal con Tomate” – crispy bread brushed with fresh tomato.“Gazpacho Estilo Algeciras” – chilled Spanish soup with tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers“Manzanas con Hinojo y Queso Manchego” – Sliced apple and fennel salad with Manchego cheese, walnuts, and sherry dressing“Endivias con Queso de Cabra y Naranjas” – Endives, goat cheese, oranges, and almonds.“Pulpo a la Gallega” – boiled octopus with peewee potatoes, pimenton, and extra virgin olive oil“Espinacas a la Catalana” – Sauteed spinach, pine nuts, raisins, and apples“Croquetas de Pollo” – traditional chicken fritters“Butifarra Casera con Mongetes” – Grilled pork sausage with sauteed white beans and aioli“Gambas al Ajillo” – shrimp sauteed with garlic“Patatas Bravas” – fried potatoes with spicy tomato sauce and aioliCrusty bread to accompany the shrimp“Pan con Chocolate” – chocolate custard with caramelized bread, olive oil, and brioche ice cream“Flan al Estilo Tradicional de Mama Marisa con Espuma de Crema Catalana” – Flan with Catalan cream and orangesSo, we received 13 dishes instead of the promised twelve, plus the bread. If I’m doing the math right, these dishes would have cost over $160 if ordered on the menu individually, while ordered as the tasting menu it cost $140.But more importantly, the food was outstanding. Overall one of the tastiest meals I’ve had a Disney world in years. And even with the substantial quantity of food, I didn’t leave feeling bloated or sluggish from the meal, as has happened to me with the also incredible, but much heavier multi-course menu at Victoria & Albert’s. Since much of the meal was light, but flavorful veggies and seafood, we were not weighed down at the end.Highlights for me were the tomato bread which had a delightful crunch, concentrated fresh tomato flavor, and just the right amount of salty bite, and the endive salad, which tasted like summer in Spain. The only dish that didn’t sing to me was the octopus, but I don’t love octopus in general, so that’s not surprising.Jeff’s favorites were the lovely shrimp, the ham and cheese, and the octopus. (See, what do I know.)I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by dessert, but both of the end-of-meal sweets were truly spectacular. And the flan – oh that flan – is now in my top five WDW desserts of all time. So simple, but the cream and citrus work together perfectly. It’s like the Beyonce of Creamsicles. Sigh.Our meal, two Jaleo Experiences, a cocktail, and a diet Coke cost $168.27, plus tip. This is gourmet food in a casual atmosphere – well worth the price.Have you dined at Jaleo? What did you think? Would you order this tasting menu? Let us know in the comments.
CCH Tax Day ReportA U.S. citizen’s claim that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) violated the Constitution was dismissed for lack of standing. The individual argued that FATCA violated the Fourth, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution because requiring foreign institutions to provide financial information to the government constitutes an unlawful search and violates due process and equal protection rights. However, the individual’s complaint failed to allege standing because there was no allegation that any financial institution had been required to provide any of his financial information to the U.S. government. In fact, the individual failed to provide any factual information regarding his bank accounts, including that his accounts were subject to reporting because the account balances exceeded $50,000. Additionally, the complaint did not sufficiently allege that harm was imminent, as opposed to conjectural or hypothetical. While the individual’s country of residence (Saudi Arabia) had reached an agreement in substance to an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to enforce FATCA, the IGA had not yet been implemented. Therefore, his allegations of harm were hypothetical future harms that did not provide Article III standing.A.S. Alsheikh v. J. Lew, DC Calif., 2016-2 ustc ¶50,388Other References:Code Sec. 1471CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶32,887.15Tax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC INTL: 36,050
Hotel reviewNovel ExperienceClose to the airport, buzzing with newly built swanky offices, the satellite township of New Town – Rajarhat area needed a new hotel. And the 347-room Novotel, run by the Accor Group, is more than poised to meet this challenge. With its clean, contemporary design, the hotel is,Hotel reviewNovel ExperienceClose to the airport, buzzing with newly built swanky offices, the satellite township of New Town – Rajarhat area needed a new hotel. And the 347-room Novotel, run by the Accor Group, is more than poised to meet this challenge. With its clean, contemporary design, the hotel is visible from the main road and is in the relatively more populated part of the area. The sense of space and ample lighting give the lobby a welcoming vibe. And of course, there are those two magic words that light up the faces of smartphone toting guests-free Wi-Fi. There’s also a Web Corner available in the hotel.ROOMSNovotel offers three kinds of rooms-superior rooms, executive rooms and suites, all are understated and chic. Concealed lighting gives them a no fuss atmosphere. Novotel also has service apartments designed for a longer stay and many amenities are provided with a thought towards the tired business traveller. They also have certain facilities for the single female traveller-the hotel has installed an intercom with a camera outside the door so that guests can screen and monitor those who come calling.FOODWith a French brand one would expect an emphasis on all things French when it comes to cuisine. It came as a surprise, however, that the French touch was restricted to the bakery, while the dinner buffet focuses mainly on Indian, Chinese and Continental cuisines. And their breakfast spread is truly outstanding.UPCOMINGRecently opened in the hotel is a 1000-person open air banquet area. Also in the pipeline is a pan Asian and oriental speciality restaurant. TARIFF Rs 18,000 onwards AT CF 11 Action Area 1C, New Town Rajarhat TEL 40323333advertisementBy Malini BanerjeeImmortalised in waxAcharya Jagadish Chandra Bose, Mamata Banerjee, Shah Rukh Khan and Diego Maradona-the Mother’s Wax Museum in Rajarhat has a motley mix of statues. The museum has 19 life-size wax replicas, fashioned by artist Sushanta Ray. Literary masters Rabindranath Tagore and Kaji Nazrul Islam occupy the same hall as singers Manna De, Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar.Kolkata’s sporting legends and heroes make it to the museum as well. A statue of Sourav Ganguly sits right next to that of the legendary Maradona. But if an Argentinean footballer makes it, how can Brazil be left behind? The replica of bucktooth Ronaldinho stands with his hands on his hips, with a football by his feet. While statues of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and President Pranab Mukherjee could almost pass off as the real deal, the replica of Suchitra Sen, Kolkata’s best known beauty is disappointing. With a broad nose and wide grin, the actor looks like a rather unfortunate caricature. In fact, she’s not the only cinematic legend who’s portrayal suffers. Shahrukh Khan’s replica was also a disappointment. At New Town Financial Hub, opposite Eco-Tourism Park Entry Rs 150By Malini BanerjeeRestaurant reviewA Regal RepastAaira means royal in Arabic. And we had quite the royal treatment at the fine dining Indian restaurant when we dropped in for lunch on a weekday. The sixty-seater dine den is done up with a lot of Mughal elements. Huge Zardozi paisleys adorn the wall. Intricately carved screens that look like old doors and windows of Rajasthani forts divide the tables. The small bar in the corner has a front built entirely of white onyx that can be backlit during evenings.The food, like the decor, is a balance of over-the top dishes as well as simple, hearty fare. The paalak shorba, buttery, light and flavourful, is the perfect example in which the focus is on simplicity. The chef’s special Dhingri Shabnami looks like a vada pao, but is actually batter fried mushrooms stuffed with spicy vegetables. While it’s pleasant enough, the coating and spices seem to drown out the natural flavours of the mushroom. Among the mains and the side dishes, the dabba gosht met the same fate as the mushrooms. Juicy shredded mutton curry was wrapped in an egg roll and served. While it’s certainly a novel way of presenting a dish, it served to detract attention from the meat instead of highlighting it. The Kerala-style fish moilee was quite the opposite. It was light and the sweetness of coconut milk gravy perfectly complemented the juicy slices of Kolkata bekti.But what impressed us most was their fish biryani. A biryani is difficult to pull off most of the time, a fish biryani even more so. But to keep the flavours intact and yet not drown it in spices was a feat indeed. It was presented in a big potli made of paratha dough (the biryani is actually even cooked inside the dough). They cut it open right in front of you and as its aroma wafts across the room, you can’t help but salivate. This one’s a winner. MEAL FOR TWO Rs 1,500 AT Aaira, first floor, 20G, Park StreetadvertisementBy Malini BanerjeeListingsDressed to the ninesEthnic and western wear boutique Niine by Niine turned three recently and celebrated it with the launch of a new ethnic wear collection. Sheer anarkalis worn over contrasting churidars, dhoti pants, shararas, and monotone lehngas with pop undertones made up the ethnic collection. The western line saw cocktail dresses, evening gowns, wrap dresses in pop colours. PRICE Rs 700 onwards AT 9/9 Ekdalia Road, GariahatHeel itThere’s a one-stop store for all your ethnic and formal wear accessories now. On the ground fl oor, right next to Byloom, Footsee o ers a range of glittery slip-ons, slippers sandals and dainty heels. Done up in bright shades with a centrally placed swing, Footsee is geared towards the trousseau shopper. Shoes aren’t the only accessories available here. You can take your pick from clutches, batuas and minaudieres to match your ethnic fi nery. AT Footsee, ground floor, City Centre PRICE Rs 2,500 onwardsOf meals and martinisThere’s a new watering hole in town. That too in the heart of Kolkata’s party zone-Park Street. The 4,000 sq ft pub is done up with raw finished wood and stone interiors. Built along the lines of gastro pub, M Bar and Kitchen is divided into two kinds of seating areas-a more pub set up with high tables and another section with low seats and a lounge feel. On the menu fi nd a global European spread including sliders, grills, pizzas and more. Also part of the package is a bit of drinking and dancing. EVENING FOR TWO Rs 2,500 AT 24, Park Street TEL 40078686