While we were away on an actual visit to Disney World, we fell a little behind on the various bits of news that came out over the past couple of weeks. We intend to rectify that situation with today’s special, double sized, edition of Rope Drop [dot] Net’s News Nuggets:
NOTE: While I was preparing this News Nuggets update, Disney released additional details about the nighttime “Rivers of Light” show coming to the Animal Kingdom. I couldn’t wait to share that news, and already posted about it here.
- The Epcot Flower & Garden Festival will run from March 2 – May 30 in 2016 This expands the festival from 75 to 90 days (and, my guess, tries to get people to still visit Epcot while Soarin’ is shut down and Frozen Ever After isn’t quite ready to open).
- Rumor of a Pizza Planet getting a Muppets-based Re-Theme Pizza Planet is closing on January 11, 2016, and Tom Corless from WDW News Today suggests this could pave the way for a Muppets-based re-theme for the restaurant. Tom’s track record has been pretty stellar recently, so I’m inclined to believe this will happen until someone else tells me otherwise.
- UberBLACK now available for rides from Orlando’s MCO Airport It’s not as good as having uberX available, but it’s a start. Elyssa and I have used various flavors of Uber a few times while at Disney World and (while Elyssa isn’t a huge fan of the “sharing economy” overall) it has been invaluable for things like early morning ADRs.
- Rope Drop Procedure Expands at The Studios You see the name of the site? How could I not post a link to a story about rope drop procedures changing?
- Tiffins Restaurant Coming to Animal Kingdom in 2016 Disney has said this new “Signature” restaurant “will celebrate the art of traveling, featuring a diverse menu drawing from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.” The restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner (and you assume will be table service for both if it’s getting the “Signature” label) and will apparently “include waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas.”
- Captain EO shows to end on December 6, 2015 The theatre is going to show a “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival” when Captain EO’s run ends. I hope, however, that there are bigger plans for the Imagination Pavilion before too long.
- Epcot’s Fastpass+ tiers to change in January, 2016 With Captain EO going away, and Soarin’ closing for a lengthy refurbishment, I assumed something like this would happen. The big change is that Mission: SPACE (both versions) becomes Tier 1. (I assume when Frozen Ever After opens, it will also be at the tier 1 level.)
- Colortopia has opened in Innovations East at Epcot I, admittedly, never really give these smaller attractions in Innovations much of a look. That said, I’d rather they actually have something in that space than just have a building full of construction walls and hallways.
- Sephora, Lilly Pulitzer, and Vera Bradley coming to Disney Springs I am hoping the presence of these stores (along with the nearby lululemon outlet) helps convince some more of my family members to join Elyssa and me at Disney World for various events in the future.
- Victoria & Albert’s wins its 16th straight AAA Five Diamond award Victoria & Albert’s is clearly an amazing dining experience (it’s just one that doesn’t really fit with Elyssa’s & my personal tastes.)
- Planet Hollywood to close in January 2016 for its “redevelopment” into The Observatory They probably would have loved to start this refurb. earlier, but I would imagine they need that restaurant’s capacity during the holiday season. An unfortunate, related note is that Disney is laying off the restaurant’s 468 employees when it closes (but says those employees will have first shot at getting jobs at the “new” restaurant.)
- The once a year hidden Mickey made an appearance You can only view this hidden Mickey on November 18 (Mickey’s birthday) at noon. So cool.
I think we already have a Kivus & Camera wedding booked for April 16, so I guess we’ll see how badly Elyssa wants to go down for the one in November.