News Nuggets from Around Disney World
With D23 and various other things (like a visit to Mighty Men of Mouse HQ), I’ve fallen a little behind on the News Nuggets. Now, with only 1 week left for The Great Movie Ride and Universe of Energy, it’s about time to unleash a mega helping of Nuggets before it’s too late. (In a nice move, Disney lifted Annual Passholder Blockout Dates so people could ride them one more time.)
Before we get started, one big item to point out is the expanion of mobile ordering at quick service restaurants that started at Animal Kingdom (yes, you could say it started at Be Our Guest, but that’s a very different process.) Mobile ordering has now rolled out at Magic Kingdom restaurants such as Columbia Harbor House, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Pecos Bills, and Tomorrowland Terrace; Epcot at Electric Umbrella; Disney Springs at places like D-Luxe Burger; and should be coming to The Studios shortly. (WDW Info has a page they updated with the listings). Disney also announced that there will be no discounts (AP, etc…) during this “launch period”.
Okay, now on to the rest of the News Nuggets:
- Disney Debuts Automated Souvenir Vending Machines at Resort Hotels, Offering Grab & Go Theme Park Items – I don’t get it. I guess, if you have to get some kind of trinket that can fit in this machine super late at night, now you can?
- Reservations Open Today for Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert Party: A Cool New Way to View Fireworks at Epcot – Like with a lot of the “dessert party” offerings, the $79 is more than I’d value this experience. It’ll be interesting to see what people think of these food options, though.
- Kungaloosh and Other Classic Pleasure Island Beverages Returning to Dockside Margaritas for Throwback Thursdays – Have a drink while you’re going through your #tbt feed. (Though, based on this easyWDW review, I think I’ll just stick with the Kungaloosh Ale at Nomad.)
- Evening Extra Magic Hours at Animal Kingdom Extended Nightly Through August 19 – Not a real big surprise, here (though I wonder if it’ll get one more extension, or if this is it.) That said, I feel like the EMH in the morning worked better to actually get on Flight of Passage than the nightime EMHs. Though, Animal Kingdom also went back to, generally, opening at 9am and closing at 10pm (instead of 8am to 11pm).
- Magic Kingdom Copies Disneyland and Adds Hand-Dipped Corn Dogs, But Are They Just As Good? – It sounds like Disney was still finalizing the process when WDW New Today did this review. It’ll be interesting to check back in a couples weeks to see how things are going. (Or, more importantly, get Elyssa’s opinion.)
- Disney Files Patent for Virtual Reality Captain America Shield Throwing Experience – Okay, I’d do this.
- Kessler Collection Likely to Open New Grand Bohemian Hotel Near Hollywood Studios, Site of Swan and Dolphin Tennis Courts – Interesting rumor. Kind of makes sense if Marriott owns the property. I’m still hoping they convert part of the Swan or Dolphin to Marriott’s time share stuff.
- Typhoon Lagoon annual refurbishment dates for 2018 – January 7 through March 18 probably isn’t too much of a high demand season for Typhoon Lagoon anyway.
- Dining Reservations Now Available during Holiday Parties at Magic Kingdom – Cool? I don’t know why anyone would pay to go to one of the parties and then spend 30+ minutes of it having a sit down meal.
- Star Wars AT-AT Walkers now standing over Disney’s Hollywood Studios – I just re-watched Empire, so even these outer structures make me excited.
- New Pirates Set to Join the Crew of Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris July 24 – The big takeaway, though, is that they are redoing the “auction” scene and “the redhead” will be a buyer of things, not a “wench” being sold.
- Siemens Ending Disney Parks Sponsorship, Leaves Spaceship Earth & IllumiNations Future in Doubt – I think “future in doubt” is a little strong. I doubt Disney is going to just roll Spaceship Earth away because it’s time to find a new sponsor. It will interesting to see what happens, though.
- Guests offered Disney gift cards in exchange for not having their rooms cleaned – Interesting. The big thing for me is the towel service, so how does the “on demand” towel service work? If they can replace all my towels within 10 minutes of me calling, I might consider this.
- Magic Kingdom to Close at 6PM to Accommodate 2017 Christmas Party Events – I wouldn’t want to be the cast members on those days telling people that the party doesn’t start until 7:00pm, but they have to leave now.
- Rey Joins ‘Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – I hope this paves the way for a Rey meet-and-greet over the next few months.
- Construction Begins on Epcot Gondola Station at International Gateway – So it begins…
- 2017 Candlelight Processional Dinner Packages On Sale Today – It’s never too early to book your spot to see NPH at the Candlelight Processional.
- UberX Now Allowed to Pick Up and Drop Off at Orlando International Airport – Lyft and UberX being able to pick up at MCO changes the cost calculation on a number of Disney vacation related charges (most notably, at the Swalphin.)
- Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Reopens – Nothing Earth shattering here, but as someone who enjoys staying at Wilderness Lodge, it seems nice. Josh also has some pictures of the new Boulder Ridge pool area, which also looks pretty nice. Overall, I wouldn’t mind staying in one of the new villas..
- Maui from Moana makes his first appearance in a Disney Park (but it’s in China) – Let’s bring Moana and Maui to Adventureland
- Morning Yoga Now Available for Guests at the Boardwalk – I wonder if people will turn out for this, and, if they do, whether it’ll expand to other resorts.
- New Nighttime Entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Celebrates Decades of Films From the Disney Family of Studios – It’s like a “Celebrate the Magic”-style appetizer before each evening’s Star Wars fireworks.
- Must-Do PhotoPass Locations This Summer at Walt Disney World Resort – Elyssa and I really should have done the Tangled one.
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort Fourth of July Golf Cart Parade 2017 and Western Mickey & Minnie at Disney’s Pop Century Resort (Photos, Video) – Even though Denise has blocked me on Twitter (still not sure why), I’ll still link to Mouse Steps when she does something cool like this. I’m good like that.
- Characters in Flight hot air balloon name changed to “Aerophile” following makeover for Walt Disney World attraction – Sure.
Phew. We’re about halfway done this double-sized helping of News Nuggets. Let’s take a quick break to watch this video on the making of Pandora:
Okay, now back to the News Nuggets:
- Special Summer Menu Offer at Monsieur Paul for Walt Disney World Annual Passholders – Missing this offer by a week. Oh well.
- Big Changes to Disney’s Yacht Club Resort Dining Options at Walt Disney World Resort – Captain’s Grille is no more. Soon to be replaced by Ale & Compass. I have my fingers crossed that this will be the new “late morning breakfast” place for me to go to now that Trattoria is a character meal. (And, yes, I know that you can opt to get a “no character” version of the experience.)
- Disney Restaurant Discounts During Orlando Magical Dining Month (PLUS MENUS!!) – Interesting to see Jiko and The Wave on this list. Elyssa and I used this to try STK last year (review HERE), and it was a nice way to try something we otherwise would not have.
- Fried Chicken at Prince Eric’s Village Market in New Fantasyland – So much for a “healthy-only” food stop, I guess?
- Yak and Yeti Counter Service Now Serves Breakfast Daily – With Pandora bringing more and more people to Animal Kingdom earlier in the day, it seems logical to provide additional food offerings. Thankfully, Josh has a review to make sure no one ever suffers through it.
- ‘DuckTales’ Star David Tennant Visits Scrooge McDuck at Disneyland Park – I don’t normally link to these, but Tennant is my favorite Doctor, sooo…
- Star Wars Themed Shop Temporarily to Replace Marketplace Fun Finds at Disney Springs – Got to put that Star Wars Merchandise somewhere while they re-work the back of Once Upon a Toy. Blog Mickey has pictures.
- New BaseLine Tap House Part of New Grand Avenue Area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – If the area is going to open up in the Fall, I wonder if they will put any holiday entertainment in the area this year. Blog Mickey has photos of the current construction
- Rumors of “Lights of Winter Returning” to Epcot for Holidays Around the World – I like Christmas Light-based “attractions”. Let’s do this.
- Up close look at Disney’s new Minnie Van car service – Depending on the time of day and where you’re going, it could be 2x to 3x more than Uber or Lyft. Also, getting dropped off at the Contemporary is not that much different than getting dropped off at the Magic Kingdom bus stop (which is the perk everyone seems to talk about).
- Permits Filed for Rockwork in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – E-Ticket rock work on the way for Galaxy’s Edge. Believe it. (An end date of the project of September 29, 2019 seems to line-up with a late-summer opening for the WDW version of Galaxy’s Edge.)
- The Disney Vacation Account Has Been Discontinued – I never used it this, but I know people who are really going to miss it.
- JW Marriott Hotel Planned Near Epcot and Typhoon Lagoon – Being able to use Marriott points that close to “on property” makes me happy. (Yes, I know I can convert Marriott points to Starwood points and use them at the Dolphin. I’ve done that.) Also, this hotel looks very different from the other JW Marriott in the area.
- Permits Filed for Coronado Springs Expansion Project – There is a lot of resort related construction going on at Disney World right now. It’ll be interesting to see how the various moderate resorts differentiate themselves when this is done.
- The Secret Nachos Rio Grande Challenge at Pecos Bills – Elyssa doesn’t like nachos, so I guess I’ll need to make a few friends if I’m going to try this.
- The Dress Shop [Returned] to Cherry Tree Lane in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs on July 27 – I hope they can keep the dresses in stock this time.
- Disney Park, Resort Employees See Hours Cut Starting Tomorrow – This is concerning. I’m hoping (?) it’s a response to lower projected crowd levels, so the impact on wait times won’t actually be that much. I guess we’ll see in a few weeks.
- “Character Meet and Greets at Disney’s Animal Kingdom” – Looks like they’re replacing Tarzan with Timon.
- Baby Tiger Cubs are Coming This August to Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Move over Stella. Someone is coming for your cuteness title.
- Mission: SPACE ‘Relaunches’ Aug. 13 With Brand New Experiences – It’ll be interesting to see what the new films are like.
- Endless Virtual Backgrounds Available at the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs – I didn’t realize there were so many options.
- Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members Now Get 30% Off At Select Table Service Restaurants – Maybe I should do Jiko on my birthday trip, then. Tables in Wonderland, too.
- Jawas are leaving Hollywood Studios – Well, that’s a bummer.
- Disney Food Blog Reports Lighthouse Sandwich Removed Columbia Harbour House Menu – Get the pitchforks and torches ready.
- Polynesian Outsells Copper Creek 3-to-1 in June 2017 – Not a surprise. The dues for Copper Creek are insane.
- Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM! to return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the 2017 holiday season – Cool. Elyssa really liked it.
- Coronado Springs Resort Preview Center with Scale Model and Concept Overview Video – It looks like it could be pretty nice.
- Disney Springs’ Portobello restaurant will become Terralina Crafted Italian this fall – Hopefully, this takes things up to a BOATHOUSE / Homecomin’ level.
- New Disney-Themed Refreshment Carts Serving Up Magic at Walt Disney World Resort Golf Courses – This probably shouldn’t be big enough news to make a news recap, but I think it’s cute.
- Three New Year’s Eve Celebrations at Disney’s Contemporary Resort – It’s going to be cheaper for Elyssa and I to stay at the Beach Club for a couple nights at that time of year then go to one of these.
- The VOID’s New Hyper-Reality Experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire coming to Downtown Disney, Disney Springs – I’m not sure how I feel about this. It really puts a damper in my knocking of Uni for their lame VR attractions. Here’s Disney’s press release.
- 8 New Desserts for ‘Happily Ever After’ Dessert Party in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort – I guess we’ll see if there’s an upgrade in the quality of the items.
- New Mission: Space Earth and Mars Signage Debuts at Epcot Giving a Glimpse of Things to Come – Should be interesting. I’m hoping the new “Earth” mission is cool.
- See the Main Street Electrical Parade Before it Ends Limited-Time Disneyland Park Run August 20 – I feel like I heard Jim Hill say the parade would make one more stop at WDW before it’s retired….(Or, maybe I was just hoping for it.)
- All in the Details: Slinky Dog Dash Track Completed in Toy Story Land – Toy Story land “on track” for next year? (What? Where are you going…)
- News: $75 Satu’li Sampler Platter Now Available on Satu’li Canteen Menu – Is this really more food than buying $75 worth of bowls?
- Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar at Disney Springs Now Offers Late Night Happy Hour – Now I know where Elyssa and I will go after we’re finished at Homecomin’ for the night.
- Begin to Dream with Retro-Inspired Merchandise for 35th Anniversary of Epcot This Fall – I kind of like the shirt, but I imagine it’ll cost a little more than I’m willing to pay for it.
That’s it for this edition of the News Nuggets. If you’re like me and unable to get in one last ride on the The Great Movie Ride before it closes, check out this video from WDW News today that features an actual “walk through” of the attraction. See you next time: