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Month: March 2015
What’s News At WDW
Jungle Cruise gets an extension…Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto goes soft…Marvel to Disney Springs…and, Innoventions West is closing!
You may recall that Sunshine Tree Terrace and Aloha Isle swapped locations a few weeks back. We now know that the reason is because of a refurbishment (of sorts) is taking place to bring in a new restaurant location at the Magic Kingdom. The Jungle Cruise themed “Skipper’s Cantina”, will take over the old Adventureland Verandah. It is expected to operate much like “Be Our Guest’ offering a counter service option for lunch and a table service experience at dinner time. There has been no word on what type of food will be served, as yet. Disney is aiming for a November 2015 opening.
Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto will begin a soft opening (today), March 28 at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This much anticipated addition to the Poly seats 50 guest inside, and 82 on the patio. There are a number of drink offerings with some being exclusive to the Grog Grotto, and some being brought over from Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Room. One thing to note is that souvenir mugs will not be made available until the OFFICIAL opening in April.
As the Disney Springs project continues to roll on, we have received word that there will be a Marvel “Super Heroes Headquarters” opening up in May. It will be located in the former United World Soccer location on the West Side of Disney Springs. Whether this is a permanent placement, or not, has not been released by Disney. But, this seems like a good way to bring Marvel to the resort without infringing on the rights of the park up the street.
At EPCOT, it was announced this week that Innoventions West will be closing permanently beginning on April 30, 2015. This old Communicore complex has seen many exhibits come and go through the years. The recent pull out of IBM may have helped this decision to be made. (Side note: Innoventions at Disneyland is also closing at the end of this month.) And, in normal Disney style, there is no word on what is in store for the future of this space. Will it be utilized, reimagined, demolished, or put in moth balls ala the Wonders of Life pavilion? Only time will tell!
Thanks for reading, my friends. I wish you all a Blessed and Magical weekend! And, if you haven’t voted in our Battle of the WDW Podcasts poll, do it now by visiting WDW Podcasts Round 2 http://wp.me/p23hiG-lr
WDW Podcasts Round 2
First round voting had a few strong, out of the gate leaders. And, some had a nearly four way draw. But, here are the top vote getters from round one. I tried to set it up give us a clearer view of what we ‘wdw addicts’ like to listen to through our week. And, with a few of them cutting back, the choices may get a little more difficult to make. So, here we are with two groups of five. For the final round, I will be taking the top three from each group and making the final an all out round of six. Happy Voting and may the best WDW Podcast win!
I think we will do a poll on favorite podcast hosts next. Have a nomination? Send to me at email@example.com and I’ll include that host in our next poll sometime in the next few weeks.
Battle of the WDW Podcasts
Repost: Round 2 starts Saturday, March 28,2015
I am certain that I am not alone when it comes to using any method possible to fill the gap between visits to Walt Disney World. One of the most common, I suspect, and one I use daily is Walt Disney World Podcasts. I currently have 22 in my list! So, I thought it would be fun to run an unofficial poll and see how we all rank our favorites. This will NOT be an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, but in the style of my friend Bob All-In-WDW we will have 5 sets of 4 to begin our time. I will leave it up for two days to give everyone a chance to vote. The top two from each set will move into the next round.
Dessert Party Changes for Magic Kingdom
There is a ‘new’ dessert party coming to the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Or, it may be better to say it’s a revamping of the old Tomorrowland Terrace Dessert Party. Beginning, July 5, 2015, the Wishes! Fireworks Dessert Party debuts and will also be held at the Tomorrowland Terrace with an improved view of the fireworks over Cinderella Castle.
Desserts include chocolate dipped strawberries, chocolate mousse, ice cream, season fruit and cheese, and Disney character themed cupcakes. Beverages include hot chocolate, a signature lemonade, coffee, and tea.
Now here’s the real change! The cost for the party is $49 for adults, and $29 for children, including tax. As of March 20, 2015, reservations are available by calling 407-WDW-DINE or at http://www.disneyworld.com.
Thanks for reading and….PARTY ON!
Idol, Innoventions, and “it’s a small world” at WDW
When the American Idol Adventure closed last year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, much speculation was being batted around like a ball during baseball season. For now, an answer has been given. The Superstar Television Theater will be renamed the Hyperion Theater and will be the host theater for this year’s version of the “For The First Time In Forever” Frozen Sing-Along celebration. This name change may sound a little familiar as it pays tribute to the original Disney Studio in California.
EPCOT’s Innoventions West appears to be closing down. There are several exhibits have already closed and the remainder are expected to close down by the end of May 2015. Gone is the Test The Limits Lab, soon to be joined by IBM Think. Surviving the first cut are The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, Where’s The Fire, the Videogame Playground, and the Disney VISA Character Meet and Greet area. It is not clear if these existing areas will be closed permanently, or moved to other areas of EPCOT. This has not been officially announced by Disney, so we will have to see what happens.
Finally, a couple of quick refurbishments were announced for the Magic Kingdom. “it’s a small world” and Space Mountain will be shutting down for a couple of days. Small World will be closed April 14 – 17 and Space Mountain will be closed April 20- 23. There was no word on what the brief updates will include.
Thanks for reading, and have a Blessed and Magical day, friends!
Disney Parks…Fun In A Day
Disney has announced two all day events with a different theme on each coast. But, it will all occur on the same day. Let’s look at how they will differ.
Disneyland Resort in California will launch their Diamond Celebration with a 24-hour event beginning at 6AM on May 22, 2015. The event will include some special offerings and will include both Disneyland AND Disney California Adventure. “Paint The Night” will be the first all LED lighted parade in a Disney Park. It will have over 1.5 million twinkling lights, and resort guest coming to Disneyland Park will be among the first to see this new parade.
“Disneyland Forever” Fireworks will also be premiering during this 24-hour event, and will light the night, and there will be special effects on all of the Main Street buildings, the Matterhorn, and It’s A Small World.
“World of Color – Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” will be hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and Mickey Mouse. This show will look at Walt Disney’s influence on animation and the dream of Disneyland Park. This is also a new show debuting during this 24-hour celebration.
Meanwhile, the east coast will be celebrating the “Coolest Summer Ever” hosted by Olaf from Disney’s hit movie “Frozen”. Beginning at 6AM on Friday, May 22, 2015. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and be ready to enjoy some of the coolest attractions in the world! There will be some special event merchandise, and there will be food and beverage available throughout the night. And, can I just way that I wish there would be a second park open during this 24 hours, also? Afterall, California gets two parks. I know they are closer together and not as big, but still it would be nice!
Park admission is required for both events.
Thanks for reading! Please have a Blessed and Magical week, my friends!
News from around the Disney Galaxy
As we all prepare for the debut of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, news of two new offerings came out of the Disney Company Annual Meeting. First up is a new spinoff titled Rogue One. At this point the only announced actress is Felicity Jones. There hasn’t been anything said about the story or other roles. This film is set to be released on December 16, 2016. And, Star Wars Episode VIII is set for release on May 26, 2017 with Rian Johnson in the director’s chair. And, again, no other information has been given about the story or who will be playing in this next chapter of the Star Wars franchise.
Frozen 2 has also been announced (BIG SURPRISE). The original film making team will be at the helm of this newest production. However, there are no details about the original cast, songwriters, or story. So, we shall have to wait and see!
And finally, Disney CEO Bob Iger let it slip that Disney’s Hollywood Studios WILL be undergoing a name change. However, he said nothing about the new name or the timing of this change. There has been some speculation that the new name could be Disney’s Florida Adventure to reflect it’s California counterpart.
All this to say, we have few details, but some excitement coming along within the Disney Galaxy!
Changes Soarin’ at WDW
Walt Disney always said that things in the parks would continue to evolve and change as imagineers came up with new ideas and technologies. Well, this week saw a completed refurb and a few announcements of new enhancements at Walt Disney World.
First, Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid recently completed a short refurbishment that saw enhancements to the scenes. Most notably, some added fish and the use of additional black lighting to bring out the glow of this dark ride. I can’t wait to see this one in person!
Walt Disney World announced two rides would be getting a little more space to help with crowds. These changes have been rumored for sometime, but we now know that a third track is being added to Toy Story Midway Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This additional track will hopefully help shorten wait times in the stand-by line. We shall see!
And, at EPCOT, Soarin’ will have a third theater added to help swallow larger crowds. The new theater will have a new screen and an upgraded movie system. I am assuming that it will be going digital, but that hasn’t been confirmed at this point! Once this third theater opens, the other two will be upgraded with new screens and the upgraded movie system. A completion date hasn’t been released, but most guesses are in the fall of 2016.
Cinderella’s Royal Table reopened in THE Castle! I can’t wait to see the new pictures, but at this point, no word on any improvements to the menu. Stay tuned!
Have a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!
A Single Ride at WDW
One of the best innovations at Walt Disney World isn’t isolated to one park, or one attraction. It can be found in all but one of the Florida parks! And, it doesn’t cost extra to use it! What am I talking about, you might ask? The Single Rider Lines available at select attractions!
Sadly, there are also a limited number of attractions that offer this option. Those attractions are: Test Track in EPCOT, Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Rock n Rollercoaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, these are three of the more popular attractions on the property! The time it saves can be as much a half the regular standby line. And, if you are willing to split up your party, you can all get through a bit quicker by riding as a single!
There are currently no single rider lines available at The Magic Kingdom, but I wonder if maybe a few of those attractions might be able to support the concept? I also am curious to know why they don’t exist at all in this park. My theory, it’s about FAMILY! The Magic Kingdom exudes the family atmosphere more than the other parks. So, maybe the idea of breaking up a family for a quick ride doesn’t lend itself to this park.
If there were Single Rider options for The Magic Kingdom, what would you choose? What other attractions would you like to see Single Rider added to? Let me know!
For now, I wish you all a Blessed and Magical Day, my friends!!