It’s been a little bit since we did a full version of the News Nuggets, so it looks like we’re going to need a double order! (As an aside, Elyssa and I once thought we were hungry enough to get 2 orders of corn dog nuggets from Casey’s Corner. It did not end well.)
First, today’s big news was the release of the famous “Free Dining” offer (and related room-only discount.). Free dining is one of the most “famous” of the Disney discounts, but if you’re staying a moderate or deluxe resort, it’s almost always a better value to get the room-only discount instead.
Second, initial reviews of the first couple of “After Hours” parties at the Magic Kingdom are starting to trickle in. Attractions Magazine has some nice pictures that show (what feels like) a nearly empty park, easyWDW showed how there was virtually no wait at any of the attractions that were operating, and Dave’s brief summary on yourfirstvisit.net seems to confirm the “non-existent crowd” feel. Even TouringPlans thinks the party is worth the money. Personally, I’m tempted by it, but Elyssa and I could do a lot with $300 at Disney World, so I’m not sure we’ll end up doing it.
Third, you can now book your 4th Fastpass+ on your phone!. This should mean that a lot (most?) people no longer will need to ever visit one of the Fastpass+ kiosks (which means maybe Disney can put staffing cuts in those areas instead of on actual attractions.)
Now, on to the rest of the Nuggets!!
- Fastpass+ is now Available for Soarin’ when it re-opens June 17 – Even with the additional theatre, I think you’re still going to want to try to get a Fastpass for this one.
- Swan and Dolphin Discounts for the beginning of the Food & Wine Festival – These look like some nicely discounted rates for a couple of the weeks during the early Food & Wine Festival. Of course, the Swan and Dolphin charge outrageously high resort and parking fees, so take these rates with a grain of salt.
- Zootopia’s Nick Wilde & Judy Hopps Debut in Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! at Magic Kingdom – This was announced a few weeks ago. I was excited for it when it was announced, but I’m a little bummed that they bumped Genie as part of the change.
- Dates Announced for D23 Expo 2017 – The expo is going to take place on July 14th-17th, 2017. I wonder if that will be a good time for Elyssa and I to head out to California.
- New Sense of Africa Tour at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. – Breakfast at Boma and a cool sounding “meet and great” with various animals. For $150 a person, Elyssa and I would probably jump on this. At $250, maybe we’ll try it some time?
- New Food Kiosks coming to Disney Springs – B.B. Wolf’s Sausage Co. sounds pretty good to me.
- You can now choose Zootopia Characters for your My Disney Experience Profile. – Disney has already added Judy and Nick to the parks, and the My Disney Experience app. This seems like a pretty quick turnaround for integrating new characters into things.
- Examining the Toy Story Land concept art. – WDW News Today takes a look at the Toy Story Land concept art that was recently posted at The Studios. There are some changes to Slinky’s Coaster that are kind of interesting.
- Writer’s Stop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Remains Open, Changes Menu. – The big tip from this Mouse Steps post: The Carrot Cake Cookie is at Sweet Spells!
- Joy and Sadness From “Inside Out” Begin Greeting Guests at Epcot’s Character Spot – I’m hoping that the wait to see these two won’t be prohibitively long (especially once Frozen ever after starts up.)
- Closures at The Studios – These were all announced months ago, but the actual closing has now happened. This is going to make The Studios feel a little more crowded while they work on all the new construction.
- Club Villain at The Studios has discounts extended. – This show gets great reviews, but I still can’t see myself spending $99 a person for it.
- Use Your Smartphone to Play Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot – This makes things a little easier. I I wonder why they can’t just let people skip the entire “registration” process all together, though.
- Norway Pavilion’s Stave Church closing for refurbishment amid hints of Frozen ride opening date – This seems to suggest that there might be some Frozen-related goings on at Epcot about May 28.
- LEGO to Launch Line of Disney Minifigures! – These look so cool. I want them all.
- Tiffins Inventive Menu Stars Cuisine From Around the Globe, Wine List Focuses on ‘Environmentality’ – This menu looks pretty interesting. Much like Skipper Canteen, it seems a little out of the “norm” for theme park food. (Personally, I wonder if they’re going to accept Tables in Wonderland right out of the gate.)
- Changes coming to Fastpass+ system at Disney World. – A good breakdown of changes coming to Fastpass+ reservation concerning Anna & Elsa and Epcot starting May 27. This further seems to indicate that late is May is going to be when FrozenStrom might be opening up.
- New Options and Perks for runDisney Events – Disney is now going to let you pay $40 and pick up your race bib “day of.” That could be useful for people who are trying to get in a runDisney race but minimize the amount time they want to spend at Disney World for the race.
- Speculation that Star Wars Land will be built on former Streets of America. – New artwork and closures have caused increased speculation that Star Wars Land will be built in the area that used to be the Streets of America instead of the area near Indiana Jones / Echo Lake. I guess we’ll have to see how things come together.
- New entertainment stage completed at Epcot’s Germany Pavilion – Can we get Off Kilter in Lederhosen?
- Special “Spring into the Magic” offers available at Disney Springs hotels. – All of these special offers for Spring time makes me wonder if we might be seeing a reduction in guests this Spring. (Of course, the massive crowds at the parks make that seem unlikely.)
- Update on Nighttime Experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – In news that can only be classified as a “major bummer”, Disney is delaying the start of Rivers of Light. Based on the post saying that an “update” will be provided in mid-May, I doubt we’re going to be seeing this new show anytime soon.
- Ample Hills Creamery Opening at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas This Spring – (1) I’m glad we’re finally getting an ice cream shop at The Boardwalk, and (2) I totally got this wrong when I dismissed the WDW Magic Rumor about it.
- New Tour Offered at Grand Floridian – I bet my mom would love this. (Okay, I would too.)
- Star Wars Fireworks Added at Hollywood Studios Most (But Not All) Days in May – Weird. Are they really only going to show this on certain days?
- New Haunted Mansion interactive ending being tested at Magic Kingdom – I am fine with them continuing to roll out these additional magic band related features. It makes things feel that much more special.
- Kilimajaro Sunset Safari Fastpass+ is now available – So close. Just missing this by a week.
- New Bar Coming to Tower or Terror – I wasn’t really “pleased” with the rumors of the Guardians of the Galaxy overlay, but I also really don’t see how this bar is actually going to be “a thing.” I guess we’ll see how it plays out.
- Fulton’s to become “Paddlefish” Restaurant in Fall 2016 – I knew Fulton’s would get a refurb, but I didn’t think it would get a name change (especially one that sounds kind of lame.)
That’s it from this double-sized order of News Nuggets. I’ll leave you with the final performance of the Dream Along with Mickey castle show: