Recent News

Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience Could Remain Closed Indefinitely

by on May 6, 2015

On the race track at the Richard Petty Driving Experience ©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

The Richard Petty Exotic Driving Experience was originally supposed to reopen late last week; however, according to the Orlando Sentinel, the attraction could remain closed for good.

As many of you may know, this attraction closed on April 12 due to a fatal crash. Currently the Florida Highway Patrol, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, have open investigations of the incident.

According to the report, “Exotic Driving Experience in Orlando will remain closed as we work with the Florida Highway Patrol regarding the ongoing investigation,” a spokeswoman for Petty Holdings said.

Because of the investigations, it is currently unclear if and when the Exotic Driving Experience attraction will reopen.

Keep in mind that the Richard Petty Driving Experience, where guests can ride in and drive NASCAR vehicles, is still operating on the track that it shares with Exotic Driving Experience; however, the whole complex is scheduled to close permanently in August due to a future transportation project from Disney.

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First-Hand Report: Testing the DHS Food Ordering Mobile App

by on May 6, 2015

Here’s a construction wall-free look at the Great Movie Ride to make you smile, before I share my woeful tale of testing the new DHS food ordering mobile app (photos by Seth Kubersky)

On May 1, 2015, Disney’s Hollywood Studios marked its 26th birthday with…not much at all, aside from the removal of construction walls around the giant hat’s former home. But while there was no big celebration like there was for last year’s silver anniversary, DHS did gain one unpublicized addition last week. As Rikki Niblet reported, a new food ordering mobile app is currently testing at two locations in the park, and I stopped by on the (not so) big day to give the new system a whirl. To save some typing, suffice to say that things did not quite go according to plan. Keeping in mind that this new service is still in the testing phase, you may decide to stick with buying your Studios snacks the old-fashioned way by the time you finish reading about my experience.

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Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience to Occur at Star Wars Weekends

by on May 5, 2015

Guests who will be attending Star Wars Weekends will have a new dining option to experience this year. The Rebel Hangar: A Star Wars Lounge Experience will have guests entering a space that serves as a rest stop and hangout for cosmic travelers of all kinds. At the lounge, Guests will be able to enjoy great Star Wars-inspired food and beverage offerings including:

RHF54354616-310x465

  • Pilot’s Pomme Frites – these are tossed with parmesan cheese, garlic and parsley with a garlic aioli for dipping

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New Live Entertainment for the American Adventure Pavilion at Epcot

by on May 1, 2015

American Music Machine

©Disney

Those who enjoy the live entertainment at Epcot now have one more option to experience!

American Music Machine, (I keep thinking of Miami Sound Machine every time I hear their name…haha), a five member, contemporary a Capella group, will bring performances of current and classic American pop tunes to the America Gardens Theatre stage. If this sounds a bit familiar (kind of like Glee), it should; the show’s vocal arranger, Tim Davis helped with creating it.

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Inside Out Preview Headed to Epcot

by on May 1, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

After the Tomorrowland preview ends at the Imagination Pavilion at Epcot (which is showing through May 24), a new preview will take up residence in the Magic Eye Theater. This new preview will showcase the upcoming Pixar flick, Inside Out. The special preview will offer Guests an exclusive intro from filmmakers, an advanced look at a sequence from the film, and in-theater effects.

The inclusion of Inside Out‘s preview in the Magic Eye Theater following the Tomorrowland preview does give more credence to the notion that Captain EO really is dead. (Despite insistence that it isn’t. Time will tell.)

This preview of Inside Out will begin on May 30 and will last about 12 minutes. There is currently no end date scheduled.

The movie, Inside Out will premiere in theaters on June 19 and it looks like it will be spectacular. (But something tells me I may need Kleenex…just a hunch.)

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Harambe Market Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom This May

by on May 1, 2015

It’s been a relatively quiet project, up until now, but if you’ve visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom lately, you’ll likely have noticed the construction occurring in the Africa section of the park. Well, Disney has finally released some solid information about this new quick service/merchandise area of the park called the Harambe Market, and let me tell you, it looks fabulous!

©Disney

©Disney

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April 2015 Kongstruction Update and Jurassic Park Construction

by on May 1, 2015

Kongstruction

Kongstruction continues as Skull Island takes shape at Islands of Adventure. (photos by Seth Kubersky)

It’s been about six weeks since our last Kongstruction update, and progress on the exterior of Universal Orlando’s newest E-Ticket is still progressing rapidly.

Rumor has it that the yet-unannounced Islands of Adventure attraction may be titled Skull Island: Reign of Kong, and it appears on track for a 2016 debut.

Here’s our latest collection of construction photos, all taken (as always) from guest accessible locations.

First, a look at the King Kong project site from the Toon Lagoon side:

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Disability Access Service Now Digital at Walt Disney World

by on April 30, 2015

MagicBandWalt Disney World has transitioned its Disability Access Service into an all digital format. Guests will now be able to have the information that was previously recorded on a card now stored on their MagicBand or ticket media.

The Disability Access Service is designed to accommodate those guests who are unable to wait in a conventional queue due to a disability, including those non-apparent disabilities.

To use the updated system, guests who need the Disability Access Service will still need to visit Guest Relations and have their photo taken that will be linked to the MagicBands of your entire party. (This means that you will need to make sure to let Guest Relations know the full number of members of your party. This cannot change, without another stop at Guest Relations.) The maximum number of guests per one Disability Access Service is 6, and it will be valid for 60 days. Paper cards will no longer be issued.

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More Shops Open at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney

by on April 30, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

Downtown Disney is seeing more changes, as a few additional shops have opened officially today.

The first is the Super Hero Headquarters, which is themed around your favorite Marvel characters. Guests experience a high tech shop, with tons of great Marvel merchandise including clothing, prints, collectibles, toys, and more. If you are a fan of anything Marvel, this is the place you want to check out. The Super Hero Headquarters is located on the West Side where the United World Soccer Shop previously was. (The Shop is still selling soccer merchandise at a kiosk over by Cirque du Soleil, for those who are curious.)

The second is a jewelry store called Erwin Pearl. It offers high-quality fashion jewelry including earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, pins, and watches. The Downtown Disney location carries the fully array of options. Erwin Pearl has been making fashion pieces since 1954 and is an expansive line of affordable luxury jewelry made from the finest materials. The shop is located in The Landing.

Two other stores are expected to also open at The Landing soon. They are Vivoli Gelateria, which will offer specialty gelato, espresso, and paninis, and Joffrey’s Tea, which will offer hot and cold teas, packaged teas, plus accessories. There has been no announcement as to when these locations will officially open.

With continual changes occurring at Downtown Disney, I’ll be sure to keep you posted on any updates!

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New Mobile App Test for Dining at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on April 29, 2015

Over the past few years, Disney has been testing ways to get food to people faster and more efficiently. For example, they’ve been doing it with Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom, where guests can pre-order their breakfast or lunch up to 30 days prior to their trip. However, right now, there is currently a new test occurring, this time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

To take part in the test, guests must first download the Express Order app on the Apple or Android device. Guests will also need to make sure that they have checked to allow for location services and Bluetooth to be accessed.

IMG_6637

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