The News

WDW Magazine - - Content - BY KIMBERLY MASIMORE

Happy New Year! We were able to close out 2016 with some changes at the parks. The Magic King­dom morn­ing show has been re­lo­cated and al­co­hol is now be­ing served at sev­eral restau­rants. More Star Wars ex­pe­ri­ences have been added to Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios. And An­i­mal King­dom is fi­nally inch­ing closer to­wards an open­ing for Rivers of Light. Here’s to hop­ing that 2017 is full of even more magic!

Magic King­dom

Start­ing Jan­uary 9th, your morn­ings at the Magic King­dom will be­gin with a twist. In­stead of the open­ing show, which took place in front of the park at the train sta­tion, guests will now be able to en­ter Main Street U.S.A. prior to the of­fi­cial open­ing of the park. At park open­ing, there will be a wel­come show pre­sented on the Cas­tle Fore­court Stage. In their an­nounce­ment, Dis­ney was un­clear if this was per­ma­nent or tem­po­rary; how­ever, the Walt Dis­ney World Rail­road is un­der­go­ing re­fur­bish­ments un­til mid-fe­bru­ary. This could ex­plain the rea­son for the move.

Dis­ney Af­ter Hours will be com­ing back to the Magic King­dom in 2017 for a limited time. This ex­tra-tick­eted event al­lows the guests who pur­chase the ticket to stay at the Magic King­dom af­ter it closes to the reg­u­lar pub­lic and en­joy many at­trac­tions with­out a long wait. The num­ber of tick­ets avail­able for Dis­ney Af­ter Hours is limited. The cur­rent sched­uled dates that will be avail­able for this event are Jan­uary 20th and 27th, Fe­bru­ary 2nd, 9th, and 16th, and March 2nd and 9th.

Ex­tra Magic Hours, which is of­fered to all guests stay­ing at a Walt Dis­ney World Re­sort ho­tel, will no longer of­fer En­chanted Tales with Belle. This is a widely pop­u­lar at­trac­tion dur­ing reg­u­lar op­er­at­ing hours. With its re­moval, you will def­i­nitely want to re­serve a Fastpass+ if this is on your “must-do” list.

Al­co­hol op­tions have now been added to a va­ri­ety of restau­rants at the Magic King­dom. Now you can pur­chase wine or beer with your meal at Cin­derella’s Royal Ta­ble, Jun­gle Nav­i­ga­tion Co. Ltd. Skip­per Can­teen, Lib­erty Tree Tav­ern, and Tony’s Town Square. Walt orig­i­nally kept al­co­hol out of Dis­ney­land and it re­mained out of the Magic King­dom since the park opened in 1971 un­til Be Our Guest opened in 2012.

Epcot

On De­cem­ber 5th, Space­ship Earth was trans­formed into a gi­ant Death Star! Now, be­fore you get too ex­cited, or an­gry, this was for one day only to cel­e­brate the open­ing of the lat­est Star Wars film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Spe­cial pro­jec­tions trans­formed Space­ship Earth tem­po­rar­ily into the Death Star and it was broad­cast live via the Dis­ney Parks Blog.

The 2017 Epcot In­ter­na­tional Flower & Gar­den Fes­ti­val will fea­ture new top­i­aries and more! A new top­i­ary at the en­trance to Epcot will fea­ture Mickey, Min­nie, Daisy and Pluto. Fig­ment will even join the fun in his own top­i­ary. There will also be two new Out­door Kitchens to temp your palate. If you are in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing, the Fes­ti­val runs from March 1st un­til May 29th.

Help Canada cel­e­brate its 150th birthday! Stop by the Canada Pavil­ion at Epcot to re­ceive a spe­cial com­mem­o­ra­tive but­ton un­til July 1st or while sup­plies last.

Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios

Star Wars ad­di­tions were re­cently an­nounced. Star Tours- The Ad­ven­tures Con­tinue at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios is get­ting a lit­tle shake-up. Guests will now have ran­dom tours (like it used to be).

AWR Troop­ers have been added to the day­time show “Star Wars: A Gal­axy Far, Far Away.” Props from the new film can now be seen at Star Wars Launch Bay. A lot of Rogue One mer­chan­dise is also ar­rived to the Dis­ney Parks last month in­clud­ing a limited edi­tion Mag­icband 2!

For re­ally big Star Wars fans, Dis­ney has put to­gether a very spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence for your en­joy­ment. You can now take a seven-hour guided tour given by a Star Wars ex­pert. The tour, which fea­tures spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences, a meal, and a fire­works dessert party costs $129 per per­son and is only avail­able on Mon­day and Satur­day. Its an out-of-this-world ex­pe­ri­ence!

The ABC Com­mis­sary at Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios has in­tro­duced a new din­ner menu. Some of the sa­vory items in­clude Chimichurri Steak, Bar­be­cued Chicken and Ribs, and a Lemon Pep­per Salmon. The new din­ner menu comes with de­liv­ery ser­vice! Af­ter you or­der you will re­ceive a pager. Just take a seat and when your meal is ready it will be brought to your ta­ble.

Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom

Rivers of Light, the new evening wa­ter show com­ing to Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom, started Cast Mem­ber pre­views last month. The tech­no­log­i­cally com­plex show was orig­i­nally sched­uled to open last spring. No word yet on an of­fi­cial open­ing date. You are go­ing to hear a lot of re­views about this pre­view from “amaz­ing” to “hor­ri­ble”. How­ever, don’t lis­ten to any of them, Cast Mem­ber pre­views are for work­ing out the kinks. They are never per­fect and never the fi­nal prod­uct. Are you ex­cited for this to fi­nally open?

A new ex­hibit fea­tur­ing lion-tailed macaque mon­keys has opened on the Ma­hara­jah Jun­gle Trek in Asia at Dis­ney’s An­i­mal King­dom. The Jun­gle Trek is a beau­ti­ful walk-through ex­hibit that fea­tures mon­keys, bats, col­or­ful birds, and tigers among other an­i­mals na­tive to Asia.

Dis­ney Springs

Next time you are at Dis­ney Springs, you may want to stop by the new Pho­topass Studio. You can choose from a stan­dard back­drop or a vir­tual back­ground to bring the Dis­ney magic to life. You don’t need reser­va­tions and you can link your photos to your My Dis­ney Ex­pe­ri­ence ac­count as well as Mem­ory Maker.

Gen­eral In­for­ma­tion

Two new deals be­came avail­able from Dis­ney at the end of De­cem­ber. First there’s a dis­count to save you up to 25% for most stays from Fe­bru­ary 20th un­til June 10th. The sec­ond deal gives you one quick ser­vice meal per per­son per night for most nights from May 30th un­til Au­gust 24th. There are a few terms and ex­clu­sions that ap­ply but deals like these don’t last long.

Dis­ney has added yet an­other way to make your trip un­for­get­table. With the all-new High­way in the Sky Dine Around Pro­gres­sive Din­ner, you will use the mono­rail to ex­plore some­thing spe­cial at three Magic King­dom Area Deluxe Re­sorts. Your jour­ney of five cour­ses be­gins at Dis­ney’s Con­tem­po­rary Re­sort for an ap­pe­tizer and cock­tail fol­lowed by the same (with a Poly­ne­sian twist) at Dis­ney’s Poly­ne­sian Vil­lage Re­sort. Your next stop will be the Grand Florid­ian Re­sort & Spa for a mouth-wa­ter­ing meal at Citri­cos fol­lowed by a cham­pagne gath­er­ing. Your de­li­cious evening ends back at the Con­tem­po­rary where you will feel like a VIP as you en­joy Wishes and desserts from a pri­vate pa­tio. The price is $150 per per­son on se­lect evenings and you may not use the Dis­ney Din­ing Plan. If you are look­ing for some­thing unique for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, you might want to give this a try!

Walt Dis­ney World rolled out an up­grade on their bus trans­porta­tion sys­tem. For an ad­di­tional fee, you can up­grade to Ex­press Trans­porta­tion. This will al­low guests to pick up a spe­cial bus in the back­stage area and use it to park hop. Cur­rently the cost is $15 per per­son per day or mul­ti­ple days for $24. Un­for­tu­nately An­nual Passh­old­ers will not be able to buy the mul­ti­ple day ser­vice.

On Sun­day De­cem­ber 25th the “Dis­ney Parks’ Mag­i­cal Christ­mas Cel­e­bra­tion” aired on ABC. This marked 33 spec­tac­u­lar years of this event that fea­tures mu­sic, celebri­ties, and your fa­vorite Dis­ney parks. With a theme about fam­ily to­geth­er­ness, the two-hour spe­cial fea­tured per­for­mances in front of Cin­derella Cas­tle as well as acts from Dis­ney’s Hol­ly­wood Stu­dios and Dis­ney­land.

Begin­ning De­cem­ber 21st, An­nual Pass hold­ers were given a spe­cial des­ig­nated line to en­ter through for all four Walt Dis­ney World theme parks. There aren’t a lot of de­tails about this new en­try sys­tem, in­clud­ing whether or not it is just for the hol­i­day sea­son or if it will be made per­ma­nent.

A spe­cial Hol­i­day Pin Se­ries Gift Card came to the Dis­ney parks last month. The gift cards are pre­loaded with $75 and fea­ture one of four spe­cial mit­ten-shaped trad­ing pins. The pins that fea­ture Mickey, Min­nie, Goofy, and Pluto can only be pur­chased as part of the gift card.

In be­tween is­sues, be sure to visit our Facebook page for the lat­est up­dates and events. Changes are hap­pen­ing all the time at Walt Dis­ney World and we want you to be the first to know what’s go­ing on. Our page is full of all kinds of amaz­ing stuff! Don’t for­get to in­vite your friends to join us on­line. The more the merrier!

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