News Nuggets from Around Disney World
We talked yesterday about the changes coming to Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend at Disney World, but what are we to do with the news of menu changes, new dessert parties, and (sadly) more price increases? Sounds like it’s time for another edition of the Rope Drop [dot] Net News Nuggets! Before we get to the majority of the Nuggets, we should need to point out one huge item:
- Purple MagicBand now available for Disney World guests – All the cuts / price increases are forgiven! (I kid, but I’ll probably get one.)
With that out of the way, let’s get to the rest of the News Nuggets:
- New Wishes Dessert Party Debuts at Narcoossee’s – Huh. I know Disney loves it’s dessert parties, but this location seems like a bit of a stretch. I really like Narcoossee’s, but I don’t think of it as a great place to watch Wishes from.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment to be later in the year. – It seems to make sense to wait until after the “Peak’ season to do a refurbishment on one of Disney’s signature attractions.
- Sneak peek of The Jungle Book coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios – I guess there’s no reason to “close” the exhibit part of One Man’s Dream, but it’s weird that you walk through that on the way to see excerpts from the next Disney movie on the horizon.
- Two New Nighttime Parties Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. – DFB point out information about some nighttime enhancements coming to Animal Kingdom (easyWDW also has a breakdown. The Tree of Life “Nighttime Awakenings” especially sounds like it could be cool. Nothing on Disney’s page seems to point to these being hard ticketed events, so I hope this is all just new entertainment for all Animal Kingdom guests.
- Details from Walt Disney Co. annual shareholder meeting – The big items seem to be that Star Wars Land construction starts in April, and that Disney is building two more cruise ships. Breaking ground on Star Wars land is especially important since, as we know from analysis from Wes James, once Disney actually starts construction, things move right along. (See also, Wes’s appearance on Mighty Men of Mouse).
- Josh from easyWDW recently spent at day at Animal Kingdom and noticed the impact of park staffing cutbacks – It’s sad to see something like Kilimanjaro Safaris get such a long wait when simply operating the other side of the loading area would drastically reduce everyone’s wait.
- Disney Dining Plan Rates Increasing – It’s the time of year for price increases, but it still doesn’t feel good to read about them. (There are also reports about not being able to book a Disney Vacation “package’ with only 1 day of park tickets.)
- Disney World it’s a small world Attraction Adds Personalized Farewell – This kind of personalization was one of the things that Disney used to sell MagicBands and MyMagic+. I’m glad we’re starting to see some of these features (especially with reports that these features were never going to come.)
- Last chance to catch Gi-Tar Dan at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Though he has never been a “must see” for Elyssa & I, people who are fans might want to catch one of his final shows.
- Minnie’s “Springtime” Dine comes to The Studios – I like this conceptually (and the spring outfits look pretty cool), but $47 per person is a lot to pay to eat at Hollywood & Vine.
- Rumors of a Resort Fee Coming to Disney World – There has already been a lot of reaction to this (almost all of it negative.) One of the best reactions comes from Dutch Lombrowski at the end of this week’s Mighty Men of Mouse podcast.
- Joy and Sadness to Join Baymax in Newly Expanded Epcot Character Spot – There was rumors of this back in January / February. I’m glad we finally got confirmation that it is happening.
- Rumors of Premium Parking coming to Walt Disney World’s parking lots. – There was have been rumors like this since the Richard Petty Speedway started coming down. Part of me is almost surprised it took Disney this long to start testing it.
- Night Safari at the Animal Kingdom Lodge now open to all – I never have done this safari, but I have visited AKL to view animals in the dark after sunset. It’s a pretty neat experience to put on night vision goggles to view the animals.
- The Braves are looking to move out of Wide World of Sports – I haven’t been in a couple of years, but I would be sad to see the Braves leave Disney World for their Spring Training. That said, I understand how being hours away from most other teams can kind of be a pain.
- ‘Ohana dinner hours extended at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort – Dinner at 3:30pm might be a little early for some, but having more ADR availability at ‘Ohana is never a bad thing.
- Special Easter Entertainment Coming to the Magic Kingdom – The Easter season is an especially busy time at Disney World, so it should be no surprise to see Disney adding a bunch of extra entertainment during that period. That said, the other recent cutbacks on staffing, etc… mean these additional offerings were a little more ‘up in the air” than in past years.
Though not a traditional “news nugget”, I would also like to point out that Disney plans to launch “Frozen” and “Tangled” themed wedding packages!. Yes, they’re only available in Tokyo now, but, if you ever need photography for Disney wedding (Frozen themed or not), feel free to contact Elyssa at Kivus & Camera. I bet there would be a discount for involved for getting to photograph that.