Even the holidys don’t slow down the amount of news that comes out about Disney World, so it’s time for another edition of the Rope Drop [dot] News Nuggets!
Obviously, the biggest item of news is the upcoming transformation of Spaceship Earth into the frakin’ Death Star at the upcoming Rogue One premiere event (which, of course, is already at capacity.) I’m probably in the minority on this, but I wish they’d do this more than just the one night.
The other big items are related to various festivals that occur at Epcot over the course of the year:
- All-New Epcot International Festival of the Arts Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in January 2017 – Another step toward Epcot having “festivals” all year round. This one is particularly interesting as it will only take place on Friday-Monday (in doubt because of the lower crowd attendance during this time of year.)
- New Outdoor Kitchens and Topiaries for 2017 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – The “Mini-Food & Wine” festival, is–admittedly–my favorite Epcot festival. Even though the “outdoor kitchens” have had more misses than hits, I love walking around and looking at the topiaries.
- Dates Announced for the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – January-February Festival into Flower & Garden into Summer into Food & Wine into Holidays. (Couldn’t they have extended it to August 18 to cover Elyssa’s birthday?)
Now, on to the rest of the Nuggets:
- PizzeRizzo Review at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – PIzzeRizzo is now open, but–sadly–it seems they’re still serving the same pizzas as Pizza Planet did before.
- Empanadas & Fajitas Replace Barbecue Options at Fairfax Fare, Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Similar concept to what they’re doing at Pecos Bill’s, but it sounds like the execution is a little lacking. Pork sandwich sounds interesting, at least.
- The Disney Gift Card eGift Is Now Available – Here’s the solution to the “it’s Christmas Eve and I forgot to get Disney Fan X a gift!!” scenario.
- Fuelrod Service Extending to Select Disney World Resort Hotels – No comment.
- $5 package pickup fee may be charged at Walt Disney World hotels – Fees like this take away from the special feelings that Disney gives with its resorts. I do not approve.
- The New Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at Port Orleans Resort, French Quarter – I’m not a huge fan of the content in Disney Food Blog reviews (I don’t think they turn a critical enough eye to most items), but this post does have a bunch of pictures and good information about the reopened food court.
- D-Living Home Décor Store Coming to Disney Springs Just in Time for the Holidays – I always am interested in the new stores coming to Disney Springs, but I wonder if this one will have anything different than what you can find at various other Disney stores around the resort.
- All-Star Resorts Are Selling Pizza at the Bus Stop – I know this sounds kind of weird, but I know there have been situations where I’ve just wanted something to eat when I got back to my hotel, and I bet I would have bought one of these if it were available. On the other hand, I can’t get behind snack carts in the Epcot parking lot. (And, in case you care: here’s a review of the actual pizza..)
- New Amenities Coming Soon to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – I love the Wilderness Lodge. I hope the updates look have as good in real life as they do in this preview. WDW News Today posted the other picture that was released.
- ABC Commissary at Hollywood Studios Testing New Dinner Service with Food Delivery – This is a little weird to me. I guess they want to make the Commissary feel like a little higher end place at night? Here are a couple of reviews from easyWDW and WDW News Today, which I’d classify as “luke warm”.
- Moana Meet and Greet Replaces a Portion of Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream – The mystery is solved. It’s not a Doctor Strange meet-and-greet, it’s Moana. With the movie now open in theatre’s, though, I wonder how long she’ll be meeting.
- Disney gives cast members a look at ‘Rivers of Light’ next week – Are we going to see Rivers of Light before the turn of the year? It looks like it’ll come down to how well these cast member previews go.
- Tiana’s Riverboat Party Ice Cream Social & Parade Viewing Launches At Magic Kingdom Park Nov. 29 – When I originally was making a note about this story, I thought I’d value this experience at $49. I figured that meant Disney would charge $79. I’m pleasantly surprised they didn’t. Unfortunately, as Josh points out in his review, it turns out the view is kind of awful.
- Enchanting Extras Collection – Relatedly, the various tours, dessert parties, etc.. now fall under the “Enchanting Extras” branding.
- News: Sake & Shine Event with Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Chef Art Smith Coming to Disney Springs Dec. 3 – This seems like a dream night for friend of the site, Howie from Maryland. If only they could have had Captain Phasma make a guest appearance for him.
- Dinosaur reopens from refurbishment with updated effects – They got it open before the Thanksgiving rush (which was really the deadline they needed to hit.)
- Date Night at STK Orlando + Save $25 – Ignore the (slightly?) over the top language in the post, but–if you’re going to go to STK–you can take advantage of the $25 off promo that they list at the end.
- Rumors of the Magic Kingdom After Hours event returning – This event was fantastic. I loved it. I really hope they bring it back.
- Aerial View of Construction at Hollywood Studios, Latest Progress on Toy Story & Star Wars Lands – You can make jokes all you want about the pace of Disney construction, but they are clearly doing something out back there. That is a lot of area that they’ve cleared.
- Expanded Bus Service Coming to Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts – This seems like a nice change. One of the reasons I like French Quarter is its Magic Kingdom bus service, and it sounds like Riverside is moving a little closer to that.
- Germany at Epcot Now Has Jumbo Pretzels Bigger Than Your Head – A giant, $10 pretzel? Sure. Why not?
- Atlantic Dance Hall throwback nights throughout December – Cool? (Seriously, I don’t know anyone who’s ever gone there–other than to see what it was.)
- 2017 Magic Kingdom Party Reservations Now Open for Select Members – If you’re someone who gets other DVC perks, and you have a reservation during party time, you can book now.
- Review of Disney Vacation Club Soarin’ Around the World Tour – Kenny the Pirate gives a positive review of a nice, little DVC perk.
- Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort to begin $12M lobby overhaul – The Dolphin lobby could probably use an update, so I’m completely fine with this (though I hope it won’t be too much of an issue for guests in April who are there for the Star Wars half marathon.)
- $30 off Discount for Club Villain for AP Holders & DVC Members – I think this is still just a little pricier than I value this experience, but it’s getting closer. If the discount had been $50 off the $129 price instead of just $30, I would have really thought about going.
- Disney introducing Express Transportation ticket option – Special buses between “backstage areas” to go from park-to-park quicker. Interesting concept, esepcially if it really is just “$24 for length of stay”.
- Complimentary Tour of Old Key West – I feel like I would enjoy something like this. (Though, I’ve never done one.)
We’ll close this edition of the News Nuggets with this video walkthrough of the famous Royal Asanta Presdiental Suite at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This might be the closest I’ll ever get to actually being in that: