Recent News

Expected Impact Of Irma On Crowds At Walt Disney World

by on September 12, 2017

The Disney World Crowd Calendar will be updated Tuesday evening to reflect the expected impact of Hurricane Irma. In early October 2016, Disney World Parks closed as Hurricane Mathew passed over Florida, and we saw a bump in crowd levels for about two weeks after the parks reopened. We expect a similar impact this year as guests return to Disney World after Hurricane Irma.

Early September is the least busy time of the year at Disney World, so even if every guest decided to delay their trip by a week, the impact would not be as significant as a storm that occurred in mid-October. However, Irma had a widespread and sweeping effect on Florida and surrounding states on a scale not seen before.

In addition, we are hearing that Disney Parks and Resorts will announce another round of layoffs sometime before Disney’s fiscal new year turns over on October 1. In 2015 and 2016 these layoffs had a surprisingly direct effect on wait times: they went up by 10 to 15%. We don’t know much about this round of layoffs or whether they will have a similar impact on operations at the attractions.

Bottom Line: Irma and layoffs mean that the Disney World Crowd Calendar index may see a one or two point jump on many days between now and mid-October.

 

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Update: The Crowd Calendar has now been updated (September 13).

Orlando Theme Parks Reopening Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 12

by on September 11, 2017

Following the terrifying passage of hurricane Irma over the past few days, many of the Orlando area theme parks are reopening to guests beginning Tuesday, September 12.

 

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Disney California Adventure to Host Plaza de la Familia, A Celebration of “Coco”

by on September 7, 2017

Plaza de la Familia

©Disney

Are you excited about the upcoming Pixar film, Coco? The film, for those who don’t know, revolves around a young boy named Miguel goes on a journey through the Land of the Dead. To tie into the film, Disney California Adventure will feature the Plaza de la Familia, which is a new event that will take place at Paradise Gardens. Plaza de la Familia is inspired by the beautiful tradition of Día de los Muertos that celebrates loved ones who have passed and honors the familial bonds that last forever.

One of the highlights of Plaza de la Familia will be “A Musical Celebration of Coco.”  This experience will feature a group of storytellers, as well as original songs from the movie. The host Mateo, will be joined by an ensemble of Folklórico dancers and Mariachi Divas who will bring three of the film’s enchanting songs to life. Performances will take place daily.

Guests will also be able to enjoy authentic Mariachi music on the Paradise Gardens Bandstand. There will also be The World of Coco exhibit and a Tree of Life interactive photo location. Oh and of course, there will be food, with an all new, delicious menu of Mexican foods available.

You can experience Plaza de la Familia, A Celebration of Coco from September 15 – November 2. Coco hits theaters on November 22.

Epcot Holidays Around the World Changing to Epcot International Festival of Holidays

by on September 7, 2017

©Rikki Niblett

The Epcot Holidays Around the World has always been a holiday season staple. During the event, Guests get to experience holiday storytellers from countries around the world, taste different holiday cuisines, and more. Well, this year, it’s going to be seeing a change, because everything at Epcot is a festival. 🙂

The experience will now be known as the Epcot International Festival of Holidays. Guests will still be able to learn about the holiday traditions of the countries found in World Showcase. You’ll get to enjoy live musical performances and take a festive global tour as performers bring time-honored traditions to life throughout World Showcase.

Oh and it wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without food and beverage booths! Guests will be able to enjoy more seasonal food & beverage specialties at the now expanded Holiday Kitchens. Guests will be able to indulge in the flavors of the season as they explore the tastes of the holidays around the world as each marketplace booth will celebrate a different nation. We don’t know all the options yet, but here’s what booths we do know will be there:

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Sunset Seasons Greetings – A New Holiday Happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on September 7, 2017

The holidays are a magical time of year and with the end of the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights, Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ holiday festivities have been in flux. Sure, during last year’s festivities, we had the introduction of the Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! fireworks spectacular, but overall, things felt a little lackluster. That will be changing this year!

Sunset Seasons Greetings at Disney's Hollywood Studios

©Disney

 

New, for 2017 will be something known as Sunset Seasons Greetings. Guests will be able to experience falling snow, twinkling lights and stories from several iconic Disney characters all on Sunset Boulevard. This holiday season, with the Sunset Seasons Greetings projection show, billboards will suddenly begin to move into motion and tell a tale, courtesy of iconic characters sharing their love for the season. Also, the Hollywood Tower Hotel will get in on the action as it magically transforms, bringing to life the characters’ stories.

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Minnie’s Halloween Dine Now Taking Place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on September 6, 2017

Minnie's Halloween Dine

©Rikki Niblett

Hollywood & Vine is getting in the fun spooky spirit, with its Minnie’s Halloween Dine at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. During this character meal, Minnie is hosting a Halloween celebration and she’s inviting her friends to come dressed in their most festive costumes!

There will also be a special Halloween-inspired buffet. Dishes will include spiced pumpkin patch soup, Kraken squid ink pasta and vampire-repelling garlic mashed potatoes. For dessert, enjoy spider-web coconut macaroons, worms and dirt Oreo cups and pumpkin cheesecake.

Minnie’s Halloween is now available for both lunch and dinner. Breakfast is now the only meal where you can experience the  Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine meal which  includes fun moments with favorite Disney Junior pals  like Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and Handy Manny.

Minnie’s Halloween Dine will last until November 5.

 

Star Wars: Galactic Nights Event Returning

by on September 6, 2017

Star Wars: Galactic Nights

©Disney

Earlier this year, Disney rolled out the first ever Star Wars: Galactic Nights event to correspond with Star Wars Celebration. It appears as though that wasn’t the only time that event would take place, as it is returning this December to tie in with Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

This event is the ultimate one for a Star Wars fan. It will take place on December 16 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and invites Guests to celebrate the beloved Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: Galactic Nights Guests will be invited to dress as their favorite character while attending this family-friendly event, as well as experience fun and exclusive Star Wars activities and events.

Here’s what you can expect to experience at the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event:

Rebel Base

The Rebel Base will serve as the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event hub. Here, Guests will find a DJ dance party, as well as being the home for ongoing event information, hosted shows, interactive moments and more!

Epic Theater

Don’t miss this one-night-only panel discussion called “Inside the Saga: A Galaxy in the Making” about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. This unique event will be taking place multiple times throughout the evening at The Epic Theater and will be the place where you learn about exciting developments about the new expansion opening in 2019 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Return in November

by on September 5, 2017

Holidays at Disneyland

©Disney

If you are planning a Disneyland Resort trip during the holidays, you are in for a magical experience. This year, the holiday season will take place from November 10 through January 7 and will include some great fan favorites, once again.

At Disneyland, Guests will be able to enjoy seasonal favorites, including Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks, complete with snowfall. Guests will also find the soaring Christmas tree in Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A.

You also won’t want to miss the“A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching soldiers and holiday cheer. Oh and Santa will be there too! Want to meet him? He’ll be found welcoming guests at a special location in Critter Country. Disneyland also will have its traditional holiday overlays at both “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday (which opens on September 15).

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Walt Disney Presents Debuts on September 8 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on September 1, 2017

Walt Disney Presents

©Rikki Niblett

I recently told you about the reimagining on Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The walk-through exhibit would be renamed as Walt Disney Presents and will debut on September 8.

The newly updated attraction will also include a preview of both new lands, as well as the attractions, coming to the park soon. There will now be a gallery featuring the model of Toy Story Land which opens in the summer of 2018, a model of the marketplace from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and concept art for the new ride Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Walt Disney Presents will still include the opportunity to take the self-guided tour about Walt Disney’s life, meet characters like Star-Lord and baby Groot, and see special sneak previews of upcoming Disney films. (Or if there’s no preview at the time, you’ll be able to catch the wonderful film about Walt Disney.)

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Introduce the Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour

by on September 1, 2017

Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour

©Rikki Niblett

If you’re looking for a great new tour at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, have I got a suggestion for you! Disney is rolling out the Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour. With this tour, Guests will be able to experience the magic of nature in a unique way throughout the evening.

During the Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour, your tour guides will treat you like a VIP as they impart knowledge of the park and its animals while you explore the different lands. You will also get to enjoy certain attractions with FastPass+ access. During the evening, Guests will be able to experience Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, DINOSAUR, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Rivers of Light. In addition, you’ll be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen in Pandora – The World of Avatar where they will enjoy the sampler option, as well as a beverage. Guests will also receive popcorn.

The tour is only available on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and lasts for approximately four hours. The cost is $265.19 per person. (Tax is included. Must have valid theme park admission in addition to the tour.) There is a discount available for Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club members and Disney Visa cardholders. Bookings are now available for dates beginning October 1. For more information, call 407-WDW-PLAY.