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Starbucks Opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Early 2015

by on August 29, 2014

Starbucks Coming to Disney ParksIf you’ve been waiting for the official announcement of Starbucks coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this is it.

A new Starbucks location is currently being built on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. (It was where you previously could find the L.A. Prop Cinema Storage Shop). The new coffee house, which will be called The Trolley Car Cafe, will be themed after a classic trolley car station, which fits in perfectly with the theming of that section of Hollywood Studios.

This is the third location to be built in the Florida parks. The fourth location, which will be found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is expected to begin construction sometime next year. The Disney’s Hollywood Studios store will be similar to the other two Starbucks locations, The Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom and The Fountain View at Epcot. There are two additional Starbucks locations at Downtown Disney.

This new Starbucks is expected to open in February 2015.

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Big Changes Coming to Epcot’s World Showcase Performances

by on August 28, 2014

Bye Bye Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps. Such a great show!

Bye Bye Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps. Such a great show!

Here’s how I started my morning…I got a text from a friend telling me that something crazy was happening…a bunch of World Showcase acts were being removed. You know, those fantastic performers that you see around the promenade. I thought…no way. This has to be one of those off-the-wall rumors…it can’t be true. And then I got on Twitter…and I kept seeing the rumors with more fervor. It can’t be…

Well, now, it is official. Four different acts that perform around Epcot’s World Showcase – Off Kilter, MO’ROCKIN, the World Showcase Players, and the Spirit of America Fife & Drums Corps - will give their final performances at the end of September.

The first to leave will be the World Showcase Players. The last performance date for this comedic troupe found in the United Kingdom Pavilion will be on Thursday, September 25. They performed skits, oftentimes enlisting audience members to be a part of the fun.

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New Villains’ Sinister Soiree Added to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

by on August 25, 2014

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

©Disney

Guests who are looking to add more treats to their Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party experience can participate in the “Villains’ Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle” Dessert Party. The event will include many perks, including a preferred viewing area for the 8:15 p.m. “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Parade,” a preferred viewing spot for “Happy HalloWishes” fireworks extravaganza, as well as a special dessert party at Cinderella’s Royal Table, hosted by Lady Tremaine. The restaurant will be transformed into a villainous atmosphere, with a piano player and haunting solos from Cinderella’s evil step-mother. The dessert party will include over-the-top desserts and non-alcoholic beverages, plus an autograph card and a souvenir Maleficent Dragon cup.

To check in for the event, guests must visit the Will Call booth outside the main entrance of the Magic Kingdom between 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Guests may begin checking in at the parade and fireworks viewing area, located in the central plaza by the Castle Forecourt Stage starting at 7:30 p.m. where they’ll receive wristband identification, which must be presented to enter the preferred viewing areas and Cinderella’s Royal Table. The dessert soiree will take place at either 10:15 p.m. or 11:45 p.m., depending on the day. It will take place at both 10:15 p.m. and 11:45 p.m. on September 1, 9 and 12 and at 10:15 p.m. only on September 14, 16, 19, 21, 23, 26, 28 and October 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 30 and 31.

The cost is $99 per person (ages 3 and up), plus tax (gratuity is included). Admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is required and not included in the price of the event. Reservations can be made by calling (407) 939-5262.

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Kongstruction: Skull Island Announced, Jurassic Park Arch Removed

by on August 23, 2014

Kongstruction project 340 Jurassic Park arch

Kongstruction has consumed an iconic Jurassic Park arch at Islands of Adventure (photos by Seth Kubersky)

Well, it looks like the monkey is out of the bag. For months, we’ve been mentioning the movement on Project 340, or as we like to call it, Kongstruction. Universal’s officially unannounced construction in the expansion pad behind Jurassic Park‘s Thunder Falls Terrace at Islands of Adventure recently required the removal of an iconic Jurassic Park archway.

 

The rumors we’ve reported regarding King Kong returning to Universal Orlando in a new attraction located in that plot have prompted some readers to question why the resort would revive a character with no major pop culture presence since Peter Jackson’s 2005 film. As if in response, Legendary Pictures announced at Comic-Con that Skull Island, an original prequel to the Kong mythos, would be released by Universal Pictures on November 4, 2016.

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New Fun Materializing for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

by on August 22, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

We are just a week and a half away from the Halloween Season starting at Walt Disney World, as the first Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will take place at the Magic Kingdom on Monday, September 1. (And for those of you keeping score, The Emporium has already begun to see some Halloween-themed merchandise creep in…get it…nevermind…I’ll stop with the bad puns now.)

Each year’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party sees a few minor tweaks and this year is no exception. It appears that Disney is fully realizing how big Disney Villains truly are, so these bad guys and gals are going to have a big presence at this year’s event.

New this year will be Club Villain, which will be found at the Diamond Horseshoe, located in Liberty Square. This dance party will feature a lively atmosphere, music, and of course, villains. Guests can expect to mingle with Dr. Facilier (The Princess and The Frog), Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians), and Cinderella’s wicked step-family, also known as Anastasia, Drizella, and Lady Tremaine. 

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Raglan Road’s Great Irish Hooley Returns This Labor Day to Downtown Disney

by on August 22, 2014

RaglanRoadHooley2014-AWCropCan you believe we are just one week out from Labor Day Weekend? Do you have your plans yet? If you’ll be in the Walt Disney World area from Friday, August 29 through Monday, September 1, consider heading to Downtown Disney for Raglan Road’s 3rd Annual Great Irish Hooley!

Wait…what’s a hooley? It’s basically an Irish celebration, and celebrate you will! The event will include activities like live music, step dancing, unique food offerings, and more.

The main draw of the event is that guests will be able to experience five different musical acts throughout the weekend. They include:

  • Scythian- Scythian plays gypsy-infused American Celtic.
  • Drops of Green- An exciting new ballad group from the heart of Ireland.
  • The Raglan Rebels- Ireland’s best up-and-coming young band with traditional and modern songs and ballads.
  • The Brayzen Heads- A popular duo on guitar and banjo who put their own spin on things.
  • The West Coast Trio- From Connemara, playing traditional and contemporary Irish songs on accordion, flute and guitar with plenty of reels and jigs.

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Changes Coming to “Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It” Street Party at the Magic Kingdom

by on August 21, 2014

MPL707746

©Disney

It appears that the rumors I’d been hearing were indeed true! The “Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It” Street Party, which takes place multiple times a day at the Magic Kingdom, will be getting a makeover.

The first change comes in the way of a new name; the street party will now be known as the “Move It, Shake It, Dance and Play It” Street Party. This new version will also feature some different characters, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, as well as characters like Stitch and Phineas and Ferb. The street party will continue to feature stilt walkers, as well as dancers to keep the energy pumping.

The cavalcade will still make its way down Main Street, U.S.A., where it will end in the Central Plaza. Here’s where things really heat up and the dance party begins. The updated fun will feature a medley of remixed party song; however, a new twist will be that guests decide the final song to be played for the “Play It” portion by voting for one of three current hits.

The new version will debut sometime this fall.

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Walt Disney World’s Festival of the Masters Canceled for 2014

by on August 20, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

The Festival of the Masters, a popular fine-arts festival that features creative works of art from award-winning artists, has been canceled for 2014l. This festival, which typically takes place yearly at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney, will not occur due to the massive amount of construction taking place in the shopping and dining district. According to Disney, much of the area that traditionally houses the Festival of the Masters is unavailable due to this expansion work. (And if you’ve been to Downtown Disney recently, you’ll quickly understand.)

This would have been the 39th annual Festival, which is known for showcasing artisans who are skilled in things like jewelry, painting, sculpting, chalk, glass work, photography, and much more. The Festival also often featured family-friendly events, craft activities, live music, specialty food dishes, and more. The Festival seemed to be growing larger and larger each year, and I was curious to see what this year’s event would offer.

This year’s open-air festival was originally supposed to take place November 7-9. Disney has already removed the Festival of the Masters page from its website.

I guess we’ll have to see if the event will return for 2015 or if Downtown Disney/Disney Springs construction will make it prohibitive for the festival to run next year, too. The first section of Disney Springs is expected to debut in Spring 2015, with the opening of The Landing. Disney Springs won’t fully be finished until sometime in 2016.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 8/20/14

by on August 20, 2014

I’ve got some interesting news notes for today, including new animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, MagicBand info, and Downtown Disney news. Let’s dive right in to the fun.

  • For those who will be attending the Frozen Summer Fun Live event at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, beginning September 2 guests have the option to choose the “For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” as a tier 2 FastPass+ option. I have no clue if this means that the paper tickets that were being handed out will still be issued; however, I would guess not with the addition of guests being able to make FastPass+ reservations ahead of time.
  • One of the things I’ve heard people mention is how they would like to buy additional MagicBands, especially as gifts for family and friends, but were unable to. Well, that has now changed; MagicBands can now be purchased without being linked with tickets at the time of the sale. Guests can purchase the solid color MagicBands at the four theme parks, Downtown Disney, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, and Port Orleans Resorts without linking tickets to the bands. Guests will be limited to only purchasing 5 MagicBands at a time. More purchase locations may potentially be added in the future. The only caveat is that guests cannot purchase the specialty bands; those must still be linked with tickets at the time of purchase. (For example, guests must link the special Frozen MagicBands with park tickets at time of purchase.)

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Villains Unleashed

by on August 18, 2014

©Disney

©Disney

This Saturday, August 23, is the first ever Villains Unleashed, taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m. The event, which celebrates the love that people have for the Disney bad guys and gals, is sure to be a fun-filled evening for those who attend. There will be over 50 different characters, dance parties, fireworks, special shows, unique food and shopping, and much more!

So, let’s get into the full details about this event so that those of you who will be attending have a better idea of what to expect.

While the event begins at 8:00 p.m., guests may begin to arrive as early at 5:00 p.m. and still be allowed entry. Those already in the park may obtain party passes at either Soundstage One (where Wandering Oaken’s currently is) or at the Epic Theater.

Guests driving to the park who are attending the Villains Unleashed party will need to use the Main Entrance off World Drive to for event parking. The secondary parking entrance located on Buena Vista Drive will be closed to all incoming traffic beginning at 3:00 p.m. Standard parking fees apply.

The evening will include many activities throughout the night. They are:

  • Hades Hangout: The main villain of ceremonies will be there to get the party started and keep it rocking all night long. Hades will be joined by Meg, Pain, and Panic. The dance party will also feature house band Bernie Briquette and Brimstone, as well as DJ Igg Nite and the Underworld Dancers. (8:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m.)

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