News Nuggets from Around Disney World
Hey! Look! The site still works! This latest batch of (breakfast?) News Nuggets is a long time coming. I had grand desigins of posting it when I was down in Florida IN DECEMBER, but that slipped. Then, life got in the way, and an iOS beta broke my custom Workflows, and…well..its (still) February.
To try make this post (of over 8 weeks worth of Disney news) a little more timely, I’ve culled some of the original stories I was going to publish, as well modified some of commentary to reflect my experiences and other news I’ve heard about these items.
Of course, the biggest news item that hasn’t already been written about on the site is:
- BB-8 To Greet Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios This Spring – The line for this when it opens is going to be insane. Hopefully, the lack of needing to change costumed people in and out will keep the lines from backing up.
With all that out of the way, on to the News Nuggets!!
- Sneak A Peek Inside The New Disney PhotoPass Studio At Disney Springs – Cute. I wonder what virtual backgrounds they’ll have available.
- Rumors of the Dr. Strange experience being cut from Hollywood Studios – Kenny the Pirate with a rumor of one of Disney’s first attempts of having a Marvel character in the park during regular hours come to an end.
- runDisney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Inspired by Disney ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – Elyssa and I aren’t running the Princess this year (we’re doing Star Wars instead), so we’re not going to get one of those cool Beauty and the Beast medals.
- Photo Editing Now Available in My Disney Experience App – The only thing surprising about this is that it took so long for these features to show up.
- Sanaa Kuamsha Breakfast Now Available at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – This doesn’t look any different than what various sites reported a few weeks ago. I guess they’re ready to make the official public announcement now, though.
- New Choza Tequila Coming to Epcot in 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort – Does “hand-crafted margaritas” mean they’ll be made when you order them or does “hand-crated” mean they’ll be made by hand and then put into huge jugs for days on end? (Of course, Elyssa will still want one when she walks by.)
- 2 month Rehab for Walt Disney World Railroad in early 2017. – The train is scheduled to be down from January 9 through March 2nd. That is a bummer during the day, but it makes that area kind of a ghost town for certain parades and evening shows.
- Enchanted Tales with Belle removed from Morning Extra Magic Hours. – I don’t think it’s a particularly big loss. This would be a waste of that bonus time.
- Disney After Hours Returns to Magic Kingdom Park for 7 Nights in Early 2017 – $119 for everyone is a pretty good, at $89 for AP holders, it’s a no brainer (assuming–of course–that they sell as a few tickets as they did for last year’s event.)
- New Star Wars Guided Tour Starts at Disney’s Hollywood Studios January 2 – 7 hours? For $129? Based on that description? I guess I’m going to have wait until someone takes the actual tour, since this just doesn’t make a lot of sense. (Which I still haven’t seen)
- runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side Medals – Hopefully, Elyssa and I will be able to finish these races and get our Kylo Ren medal.
- Bus Stop Pizza Kiosks Now Have Breakfast – I don’t use the term “game changer” lightly…(I kid, I kid. “Game changer” means nothing with respect to theme park news these days.)
- Tree of Life Garden Returns to Animal Kingdom After Multi-Year Closure – Getting everything in Animal Kingdom in shape for when Avatarland opens (what is now) a couple of months.
- Crossroads plaza faces demolition for Disney-area road project – Interesting story, but it’s a long, long way from happening. The state will have to get right of way access to the area first, and I can’t imagine Crossroads and its tenants will go quietly.
- Gasparilla Island Grill reopens at the Floridian. – Good timing. You can’t have the major quick service at a resort down for the holidays. (Also, the food here was pretty good. I enjoyed it.)
- Upcoming changes to Epcot entertainment acts – Kenny the Pirate runs down some of the upcoming (and now made) changes to Epcot entertainment. Disney seems to have decided to change these various acts a little more frequently over the past few years.
- Churros return to the Animal Kingdom. – If you need some evidence that 2017 will be better than 2016.
Okay. That was a lot of nuggets. I need a break.Let’s watch one of the “behind the scenes” looks at Pandora:
Okay, back to the News Nuggets:
- [A New Way to Start Your Day at Magic Kingdom Park Begins January 9](
https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2016/12/a-new-way-to-start-your-day-at-magic-kingdom-park-begins-january-9/) – They’rved moved the Welcome Show to the Hub during the refurbishment of the Railroad. It’s an interesting “test” of how this might work. I plan on writing more about it later (I swear!), but I wanted to share the “news” now.
- #DisneyKids: A Vacation Package Perfect for Your Kindermoon at Walt Disney World Resort – It’s an interesting way for Disney to say now (right as they’re about to start school) is the right time to bring your kids to Disney World. WDW News Today pointed out that these packages also include additional Fastpass+ selection for certain “kid friendly” attractions.
- Entry bridge to Pandora – The World of Avatar now visible to guests – It’s probably just me, but it feels like they’re going to be able to open this place in time for the summer. (I’m also pretty sure I’m going to regret this post when it’s not open in September.) — I swear I wrote this in December, BEFORE the date was announced!
- Photos of Culinary Treats at Epcot International Festival of the Arts at Walt Disney World Resort – These look a little fancier than some of the Food & Wine Items. Of course, it’s just the product photography, so who knows what the final product will end up being.
- Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosk to be Added to the Magic Kingdom, Annual Pass Discounts Now Offered – I admit: I just assumed there already was a Joffrey’s at Magic Kingdom. (The discount is nice, though.)
- Disney Testing New One-Day Quick Service Dining Plans at Theme Parks, “Disney-Dine-on-the-Go” to Speed Up Sales – I’m going to need more information on this, since–as it stands–I don’t get it. (Since then, I’ve gotten more information. If you are definitely going to eat multiple quick service meals at the Magic Kingdom, it might be possible to get a decent value out of this.)
- Magic Kingdom In-Park Cabanas Being Offered at a Discounted Price – For everyone who said “I’d pay $500 for that, but $650 is just too much…” (Sadly, (?) these have now been been removed.)
- WDW News Today Rumor that the Paint the Night Electrical Parade Still A Possibility for The Magic Kingdom – Have you seen the people sitting on the sidewalk on Main Street waiting for the nighttime parade? It’s a thing that people just expect to have. Whether it’s Paint the Night or some other parade, Disney really should do something.
- Flame Tree Barbecue Retiring Signature Barbecue Sauce – I was never really fan, but I’m sure some people will be very upset about this.
- Members to Experience Disney Vacation Club Moonlight Magic – If you own DVC, maybe pay attention to thse dates. Me? I love the multiple paragraphs of disclaimers at the end of the post.
- Star Wars: Galatic Nights Special Event starts April 14 at The Studios – Nicely timing to coincide with Star Wars Celebration (which is taking place that weekend). Personally, it sounds like the Magic Kingdom After Hours event would have more value than this $129 event will, but I’ll hold off final judgment until we get some more details.
- Express Fresh Pilot to Being Feb. 7 at Contemporary and Yacht Club. – Interesting. A new “quick and casual” option for in-room dining. My fear, of course, is it’s going to be like those sandwiches that you see in the case at an airport (more “express”, than really “fresh”.)
- Drinks coming to Paddlefish – I wonder what the craft beer from North Carolina is. Of course, it’s kind of silly for me to go to Disney World and have beer that I can get just as easily at home.
Okay, time for another break. This time, let’s look at this tribute to the late, great Carrie Fisher from The Studios:
Ms. Fisher will be missed, and (shockingly?) I was unable to come up with a way to segway back into the nuggets:
- Braves Spring Training to Conclude at Walt Disney World – This is a bummer for me. I liked being able to see some spring training baseball when I was visiting Disney World. I guess I understand the Braves’ point that they are too far away from other spring training teams, but that doesn’t make it less of a bummer for me.
- Housekeeping at Disney World to be Reorganized Due to Degrading Service Quality – On the surface, I think this is a good move. Improved quality of room cleaning, etc… doesn’t really have many negatives (though, honestly, I haven’t really ever faced any issues under the current system.)
- Paddlefish Set to Open Feb. 4 at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort – Obviously, this is now open. Reviews from 3 bloggers who attended together all seemed fairly positive, including: WDW News Today, Mouse Steps , and easyWDW .
- Discover a Timeless Tale with a Sneak Peek from Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Starting Feb. 10 at Disney Parks – After a couple of years, can probably figure out how this is going to: The next big Disney / Marvel movie that’s coming out gets a preview in One Man’s Dream.
- Re-Imagined Planet Hollywood Observatory Opens at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort – And we already have less-than-glowing reviews from WDW News Today and (even) the Disney Flood Blog.
One more break before we finish? What do you say? This time, let’s check out the latest Pandora ad:
That place might be pretty cool in a few months. Now, though, let’s finish out our News Nuggets!
- New look parking trams to feature monorail colors and quieter ride – Huh. I never really noticed the existing trams being particularly loud, but–if I think about it–I guess they are.
- Starring Rolls Cafe at Hollywood Studios Closing Tomorrow – If “tomorrow” to you is February 4th, that is. Sadly, this is another example of something at the Studios closing, but there being nothing announced to replace it.
- Book Your Spot on the New Ultimate Disney Classics VIP Tour at Magic Kingdom Park – $200 for a VIP tour that doesn’t include any of the “mountains” or the Mine Train doesn’t work for me. Maybe if your priorities RE attractions are a little different?
- Leaked Image Reveals Ride Vehicle for AVATAR “Flying Banshee” Attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Interesting. I hadn’t even thought that each person (couple? small group?) would get their own Banshee to ride. If that’s really the case, it could be a really different experience from Soarin’.
- Making way for The NBA Experience: DisneyQuest at Disney Springs to Close July 3 – So the NBA Experience is still going to be a thing, huh? At a minimum, maybe they’ll really shut down Disney Quest, finally.
- Cosmic Ray’s to get a Second Expansion – UNRELATED(ish): I don’t know if Elyssa and I have ever been to Cosmic Ray’s together
- Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort engages guests with Chrome signage – Not really a news item, but I figured y’all be able to really impress your family with this key factoid.
- Disney CEO Bob Iger confirms possibility of extending tenure past 2018 – Maybe our favorite tipster “Bob from Burbank” can call into to MMoM to give a couple of insights on this.
- Doc McStuffins to Greet Fans at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Beginning This Month – Huh. This seems like a weird home for Doc.
- Enchanted Rose Cake Inspired by ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – We had an Amorette’s Patisserie cake over Christmas and it was fantastic. (That reminds me, I should probably write about that.)
- Theme Park Models Move Out of Walt Disney – One Man’s Dream for Beauty & The Beast and Other Movie Props – I guess I knew this was coming, but it’s still kind of a bummer.
- Geyser Point Bar & Grill Opens at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge at Walt Disney World Resort – As a photographer, I know it’s possible to make things look better in picture than they actually are. That said, this place looks fantastic. (Initial Review from DFB is positive)
- Disney makes it official: Charges $5 for each mailing or package received at a Disney Resort. – This just makes me sad. I hate little charges like this.
- Rumored Gondola Transportation System Between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios to be Constructed – This rumor has been setting the Internet on fire for the past day or two. Personally, I’d love to seem Disney try something like that.
- New Bird Shows Have Debuted at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – I’m still amazed that these birds can be trained to be out in the open like this.
- More Guest Experiences and Dining Options Coming to Disney’s Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resorts – It sounds like they are really going to make some upgrades to these moderate resorts (including converting Corando Springs into a more “business-y” resort.) The press release has a few more details..
- New Menu Items at Jiko – Since Elyssa and I have never been here, we really don’t have any favorites that might get pulled of the menu. That said, I figure Elyssa will still try to get a filet on top of a bed of mac-and-cheese if we do go.
Whew! We’re finally done. Let’s celebrate!