Walt Disney World (FL)

Disney World Crowd Calendar Report – April 10 to 16, 2016

by on April 21, 2016

How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?

How Crowded Was Disney World Last Week?

The majority of the crowd level figures we measured at Disney World last week were at or below what the Crowd Calendar predicted representing a good bounceback from the week before. Weekend days were somewhat busier than expected but guests who visited the parks midweek experienced some of the lowest crowd numbers we have seen in months. On Tuesday alone, three of the four parks saw crowd levels at a ‘3’ or less. Still, wait times in 2016 continue to be longer than what we have seen in years past.

Let’s look at how the crowd levels stacked up each day last week on the Touringplans.com Disney World Crowd Calendar Report:

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Elena of Avalor To Meet Guests This Summer

by on April 20, 2016

©Disney

©Disney

Guests will soon have a new Disney Princess to meet. Princess Elena from the upcoming Disney Channel show “Elena of Avalor” will begin meeting Guests this August at the Magic Kingdom.

While we don’t necessarily know a lot about Elena yet, we do know that she is a bold princess who’s love for her family and kingdom takes her on magical adventures. She is a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairytale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore and therefore, she is the first Disney Princess inspired by Latin diversities.

She will debut in a special episode of “Sofia the First” on Disney Junior next year, which will then translate into her own spin-off series. Elena is voiced by Aimee Carrero, of Freeform’s “Young & Hungry.”

“Elena of Avalor” is scheduled to debut on the Disney Channel on August 1.

Stay tuned to the blog for more details on when you and your little one can meet Princess Elena.

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New Details About Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

by on April 20, 2016

This past summer, Disney announced that a brand new land was slated for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The land, called Toy Story Land would have Guests finding themselves shrunk down to the size of the toy as they enter the world of Buzz, Woody, Bo Peep, Jessie, Potato Head, Rex, and the rest of your Toy Story favorites.

Today, we have more details on the two new attractions that will be opening in this newly-built, immersive land.

On Slinky Dog Dash, a family roller coaster, Guests will find themselves on a coaster track Andy has built in his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit. Toy Story characters will, of course, find their way into the attraction in fun and unique ways as Guests zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.

Here is a short video rendition of what Guests can expect to experience on Slinky Dog Dash:

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Celebrate Earth Day at Epcot

by on April 20, 2016

©Rikki Niblett

©Rikki Niblett

Earth Day is on April 22, and while most of the focus is always on the events that will occur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot also gets in on the Earth Day fun.

This year, Earth Day will be celebrated during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival all weekend long, from April 22-24.

Guests will be able to participate in numerous activities to celebrate the day including:

  • The Jungle Book Matching Activity at The Jungle Book Sand SculptureGuests will be able to play a matching game in which they match species that were featured in The Jungle Book to a fun fact about the animals.
  • Butterfly Citizen Science at Pollinator Garden – Here, Guests will have the opportunity to be a part of a science project by collecting data that will then in turn help conservation and horticulture teams learn about  native Floridian butterflies and their plant preference.
  • Meet Captain Ron at The Seas with Nemo & Friends – No…you won’t be able to meet Kurt Russell as a salty seafarer. Instead, you’ll meet a beagle named Captain Ron who helps conservation experts by sniffing out turtle egg nests to help protect them. Captain Ron and his trainer Pepe Peruyero will have appearances at 10:30 a.m, 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Earth Day weekend. The duo will also give a short presentation about their work, and will be available for photos.
  • At the Festival Center  Guests can catch horticulture and wildlife experts leading seminars about aquaponics, making your property wildlife-friendly and how to grow new plants from the plants you already have.
  • Participate in a National Park Foundation map activity
  • At 11:00 a.m. each day during Earth Day weekend, you can get an up-close look at a nest with a purple martin expert, presented by the The Florida Audubon.
  • Guests can enjoy the Leap for Wildlife at National Wildlife Federation Garden
  • Guests can discover their footprint at The Nature Conservancy Garden

It seems like a great weekend is in store for those looking to celebrate Earth Day at Epcot this weekend!

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Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Castle Show to Debut in June

by on April 20, 2016

Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire

©Disney

Disney recently announced that a new show on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage would be debuting at the Magic Kingdom to replace Dream Along With Mickey called Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. I now have an update and can share that the show will debut in June. (No official date has been announced, just June.)

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will invite Mickey and his Merry makers to prepare to host a festival and are inviting friends from other lands to join the celebration. The will feature characters from recent films, such as Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and the Frog, Rapunzel and Flynn from Tangled, and Anna and Elsa from Frozen. The finale will end with a grand dance including both the Merry Makers (which include Goofy, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Minnie) and the new friends.

The new show will feature fantastic costumes, special effects, and dancing. The music will include an original song called “On This Day” that was written by songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda who also wrote songs for Toy Story: The Musical and Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings.

Stay tuned to the blog as an official date is announced for the debut of this new show.

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Frozen Ever After to Debut at Epcot in June

by on April 20, 2016

For those who have been waiting anxiously to get to experience the upcoming Frozen attraction at Epcot, you will only have to wait a little bit longer.

While a set date has not officially been announced, Frozen Ever After will debut in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot this June.

The attraction’s timeline will occur after the film takes place, taking guests on a boat tour through Arendelle during a “Winter in Summer” celebration. Queen Elsa who has embraced will create a winter-in-summer day and during the adventure Queen Elsa, Princess Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, trolls and Marshmallow join Guests on their boat journey through the frozen willow forest, past Troll Valley and up to the North Mountain to Elsa’s ice palace, returning to the Bay of Arendelle. During the attraction, Guests will even be able to witness Elsa’s ice magic and experience incredible AudioAnamatronics.

©Disney

©Disney

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Wishes Fireworks Dessert Parties Expand

by on April 20, 2016

Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party

©Rikki Nibilett

The Wishes Fireworks Dessert Parties at the Magic Kingdom have been expanded so that more Guests can enjoy the fun festivities.

During the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party, Guests are offered the opportunity to enjoy delicious treats and beverages in a buffet setting. In addition, they have a private viewing area to in which to catch Wishes. Previously, Guests were required to make their reservations in advance, but now, with the expansion, same-day reservations can easily be accommodated.

All Guests attending the fireworks dessert party will still be able to enjoy a variety of desserts at the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. Then, going forward, Guests with same-day reservations will then move to the Plaza Garden area for the fireworks show. (This is the former location of the Wises FastPass+ viewing area.) Keep in mind that desserts will not be available, nor will there be seating for Guests in the Plaza Garden area.

Guests who have booked in advance will view the fireworks from the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. If Guests who are scheduled to view the fireworks at the Tomorrowland Terrace and they wish to view them at the Plaza Garden, they may have the opportunity to do so, if space is available.

Pricing for the Wishes Fireworks Dessert Party is $59 for adults and $35 for children. (Includes tax.) Reservations for the Tomorrowland Terrace viewing location can be made in advance by visiting DisneyWorld.com/dine, or calling 407-WDW-DINE. For those looking to make same-day reservations, they will be available at the Tomorrowland Terrace podium starting at 10:30 a.m. each day.

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Soarin’ Around the World to Debut at Epcot and Disney California Adventure in June

by on April 20, 2016

Soarin' Around the World

©Disney

Guests will finally be able to see the world on Soarin’ at both Epcot and Disney California Adventure.

Beginning on June 17, Soarin’ Around the World will debut giving Guests a glimpse of the Great Wall of China, Sydney Harbor in Australia, and the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The ride will immerse Guests in a multi-sensory experience with sights, sounds, and smells.

The soundtrack of the attraction will see a bit of a change that fits with the new destinations, but will still be based on the current version. There will also be a surprise ending for Guests to experience.

Here is a preview of what Guests will be able to expect with the new film:

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Walt Disney World Relics and Tributes: The Magic Kingdom

by on April 20, 2016

relicsandtributesWalt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. It is something that will never be finished. Something that I can keep developing and adding to.” Imagineers have made sure that the Disneyland and the Disney Parks have stayed true to that intention throughout the years.

In fact, the Walt Disney World Resort has been changing and growing a great deal in the past few years, such as the addition of New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom and re-imagining of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, and prepares for new openings like the Rivers of Light show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park and the Frozen Ever After attraction at Epcot. But oftentimes, to gain something new, something has to be given up and past attractions must make way for new ones, such as in the closure of attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in preparation for Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land. Fortunately, Disney has a tradition of honoring its history while in the business of creating that great, big, beautiful tomorrow, and oftentimes through little tributes and details and even the recycling and reimagining of familiar icons.

I recently took a trip to the Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to uncover some of these tributes and relics from the park’s past. I tried to avoid including those that many fans already know about–such as the windows on Main Street, U.S.A. or the picture of Mr. Toad handing over the deed to Owl at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh–in hopes that you may discover something new and maybe get a little dose of nostalgia in today’s Walt Disney World Relics and Tributes: The Magic Kingdom.

snowwhitevultures

Snow White’s Scary Adventures Vultures

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the Magic Kingdom’s newest attraction and one of the crown jewels of New Fantasyland. This attraction is incredibly detailed and a ton of fun, but one of the things I appreciate about most is its number of tributes to a former Fantasyland attraction: Snow White’s Scary Adventures.

Snow White’s Scary Adventures was a classic dark ride and one of the park’s original opening day attractions. It sadly closed in 2012 due to New Fantasyland; but it’s sister attraction, by the same name, is still operating at the Disneyland Park today. It’s never easy to lose an attraction, especially one with so much history, and I suppose Imagineers felt the same way because there are a number of relics and nods from Snow White’s Scary Adventures hidden in and around this coaster.

The Vultures

When walking around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, or while aboard your gently swinging mine car, look up and you might see two menacing vultures. Do they look familiar? They used to be part of Snow White’s Scary Adventures! Imagineers recycled these feathered scavengers for the park’s newest Snow White-themed attraction; and in doing so, made a piece of the past work for the present.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Nighttime Festivities Begin Memorial Weekend

by on April 20, 2016

While Rivers of Light may be delayed for who-knows-how-long at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney has announced that they will begin showcasing their nighttime events staring this Memorial Day Weekend.

In the interim, while the issues delaying Rivers of Light are being addressed, a temporary nighttime show will take place on the Discovery River. The show, which will take place during the summer, will take it’s influence from the recent release of the live action version of The Jungle Book. Called Jungle Book: Alive with Magic, this limited-engagement show will include music and special effects that celebrate the film and the classic songs, while being infused with an Indian flair.

In addition, the other nighttime elements that had previously been announced will also debut Memorial Day Weekend.  They include:

©Disney

©Disney

 

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark – Enjoy the attraction in the evening thanks to special lighting that will allow guests to explore the savanna even in the nighttime hours.  Plus, there are two new species to discover: African wild dogs and hyenas.

 

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