Recent News

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.

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Dockside Margaritas Open at Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World

by on April 27, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

One of the great aspects about the transition from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs is, to me, this laid back atmosphere that it feels Disney is trying to create. A place where people can stop, pause, and enjoy. As part of that transformation, late last week, a new spot was introduced which incorporates just that exact philosophy–Dockside Margaritas.

Guests can order margaritas from the window of the “former 1960s produce stand” and then have the option to relax in an open air area that overlooks the water, or walk along on their merry way and enjoy Downtown Disney.

Dockside Margaritas features a lot seating options ranging from chairs and tables to more comfortable sofas under an open air trellis. The vibe here is an extremely chill one where guests should be welcome to stop and enjoy the company or the view.

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Summer Gets Hotter With the “Teen Beach 2″: Beach Party at Typhoon Lagoon

by on April 22, 2015

TL-TB2BP-Logo-Proof-613x556

©Disney

Are you a fan of Teen Beach Movie? (That’s the one with Troy and Gabriella, right? ;) ) Well, if you are, then I’m sure you know that the sequel will be airing on The Disney Channel later this summer. So, if you’re excited about of the teen flick part 2, then you’ll need to head to Typhoon Lagoon. You see, in honor of the Coolest Summer Ever, the water park will be introducing the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party for a limited time!

The party will showcase the “bikers” and the “surfers” who will be there to dance, as the DJ on hand spins some great retro tunes. Guests will also be able to participate in games on the main beach area, such as relays, hoola hoop spinning, as well as water balloon and beach ball tosses.

You won’t want to miss out on all the exciting fun–the event only takes place from May 22 through July 5. Guests visiting the water park paradise will surely be transported back to the 1960s with the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party.

(PS: No old fogies….ie…myself….were harmed in the creation of this blog post. Though I do now feel about 100.)

 

 

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Tomorrowland Preview Now Open at Epcot

by on April 18, 2015

Tomorrowland preview epcot

The Tomorrowland preview has evicted Captain EO from Epcot’s Imagination pavilion. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Do you want to go back to the future? Well, we’re already in 2015, so Doc Brown’s time machine is off the table, but Disney is now giving guests a glimpse of the world (or at least the moview) of tomorrow. As Rikki Niblett reported, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland preview officially opened on April 18 inside Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater, formerly home to Captain EO.

The new temporary attraction is essentially an advertisement for the upcoming Brad Bird-directed sci-fi flick, which will be released to American theaters on May 22.

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Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes – 4/17/15

by on April 17, 2015

Happy Friday! Do you have big plans that involve Disney this weekend? If you’ll be traveling to Walt Disney World this weekend (or any time soon), here are some of the news notes you should know!

  • Be Our Guest Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom is now offering the pre-order option for breakfast. Guests with a breakfast reservation will receive information via their dining confirmation email and will be able to pre-order meals through My Disney Experience anywhere from 30 days to 5 minutes prior to their reservation. Guests can also still choose to order breakfast at the time of arrival at the restaurant. Breakfast at Be Our Guest Restaurant is currently only being tested through June 18.
  • Epcot will be holding some special events Earth Day, which is April 22. Beginning today until April 22, there will be nature activities for kids and families and a sand-sculpture creation to showcase Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom at the World Showcase Outpost. Then, over at The Seas with Nemo & Friends on April 22, guests can learn about conservation efforts to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, sharks, and the many other amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans.

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Tomorrowland Preview Begins Tomorrow at Epcot

by on April 17, 2015

©Disney

©Disney

I feel a sense of irony writing this title for this article. ;)

For those of you excited about the Tomrrowland sneak peek that will be taking place in Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater in the Imagination Pavilion (you know, where Captain EO has been playing), it will begin tomorrow, April 18. In addition, to being able to catch the preview guests will also be able to get a close-up look at one of the jet packs used in the film, along with a display of concept art and photos straight from the set.

For those visiting Disneyland, the preview kicked off today at the Tomorrowland Theater. After catching the preview, guests are invited to visit the Starcade to see original props and production artwork.

The preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes and is expected to run until May 24. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.

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Celebrate Earth Day with a Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by on April 17, 2015

Disney's Animal KingdomLooking for a great way to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) while visiting Walt Disney World? Look no further than Disney’s Animal Kingdom! (Which is also the park’s anniversary!) Each year, the park holds a special event called Party for the Planet. The day will include unique activities, merchandise, and of course, a cupcake, to celebrate the occasion.

Most events are slated to take place at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Guests should hop on the Wildlife Express Train back to the land, where they will be able to meet Rafiki and Jiminy Cricket (from April 19 through 25); see conservation displays and presentations courtesy of Cast Members; have caricatures done or get your face painted (available through April 25); and visit research stations, which will showcase behind-the-scenes footage of “Monkey Kingdom,” Disney’s newest Disneynature release (available through May 20.)

In addition, there will be vendors and artists selling unique items to guests in both the Africa section of the park and in Discovery Island.

I did mention that there would be a specialty cupcake. It will be a Worms in Dirt-themed chocolate cupcake, with a chocolate mousse filling with white buttercream dipped in Oreo crumbs. It is topped with a chocolate flowerpot and gummy worms. Guests can pick it up at Kusafiri Coffee Shop or at Isle of Java on April 22.

For more information about celebrating Earth Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, make sure you pick up the special Times Guide for full details.

 

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