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There are exciting new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida! Join us every week to read about what’s new “Around the Mouse.” This week’s Walt Disney World news update features: a new show coming to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, a new Epcot tour around the World Showcase, dining plan enhancements, and more!
What’s New This Week?
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! New Show Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: In “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular,” the mischievous Sanderson Sisters from Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” return to the mortal world for one night during the Halloween season. With only a few hours to run amuck, the three sisters decide to use their magic to throw the best, evil Halloween party this side of the graveyard! With the help of the Disney villains, Winifred, Mary and Sarah gather together sinister shadows, nefarious nightmares and the power of their frightful friends to conjure the ultimate Hocus Pocus Party Potion and cast a spell on everyone in the Magic Kingdom Park. “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular” features appearances by Dr. Facilier, Oogie Boogie, Maleficent and other great Disney villains, along with dancers, projections and special effects that combine to make this new show a not-to-be-missed Halloween treat.
Reminder! Adjusted Times for Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!: Due to refurbishment work on Main Street, U.S.A., Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! will be presented at 12:30 and 5:40 p.m. on June 2, June 3, June 8, June 15 and June 29, 2015.
New! New Epcot Tour Around World Showcase: A new tour, World Showcase: DestiNations, brings culture, history and Disney magic to life. From the streets of Paris to the Bavarian countryside, see what has inspired the Disney animators for years in the creation of some of our most beloved movie classics. The five-hour World Showcase walking tour discusses highlights from over four thousand years of architecture and world history and ends with a dining experience at Restaurant Marrakesh. Cost is $109+tax per person.
New! Disney-Pixar “Inside Out” Preview Begins at Epcot May 30: Beginning May 30, the Imagination Pavilion theater in Epcot will offer a limited-time special preview inside Disney -Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out.” “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley and introduces us to the Emotions that guide her. Based in Headquarters, the five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Guests will experience an advance look at a sequence from the film, complete with special in-theater effects and an exclusive introduction from the filmmakers. The “Inside Out” preview is scheduled through July. Captain EO will remain temporarily closed during the preview and is planned to return in July.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Reminder! Star Wars Weekends Schedule: Immerse yourself in another world with the power of Force during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This event runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 15–June 14. While at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll find an entire saga’s worth of characters, specialty shows and celebrities on hand for pictures, autographs, motorcades and more. The 2015 Star Wars Weekends celebrity appearances include:
Weekend III (May 29 – 31)
- Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
- Daniel Logan: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)
- Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)
Weekend IV (June 5 – 7)
- Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
- Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
- Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)
Weekend V (June 12 – 14)
- Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
- Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
- Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
- Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Update! New Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Now Open: The much-anticipated Harambe Market opened May 23 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There food plays a starring role with African-inspired street food at four walk-up windows and plenty of shaded seating – 200+ seats. Built around a Colonial-era train depot design complete with a 1960s water tower, the marketplace re-creates a bustling center of commerce where guests are welcomed from around the world who have come to visit the little seaside town and venture out to the reserve to observe Africa’s animals. It’s designed to be the sort of food you’d find in a street market in Africa, and the menus are intended to reflect the unique personalities of the establishments’ owners. “Kitamu Grill” offers skewered chicken and a kabob flatbread sandwich. “Famous Sausages” features a corn dog, inspired by a South African sausage called a boerewors, dipped in curry-infused corn batter. “Chef Mwanga’s” serves a spice-rubbed karubi rib with green papaya-carrot slaw. A fourth window, called Wanjohi Refreshments (“wanjohi” means “brewer” in Swahili) offers beverages including six South African wines by the glass; Safari Amber Lager and Orlando Brewing I-4 IPA on draft; red sangria with Van der Hum tangerine liqueur from South Africa and more.
New! Additional Construction Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Construction begins the of May 26 on a new “grab and go” food and beverage location in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom where FastPass tickets were once distributed for Expedition Everest-Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Details have not yet been released.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Pool Hours Change at Grand Floridian Resort: Beginning Sunday, May 24, the pool hours for the Beach Pool at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
New! Changes to My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party: Beginning Nov. 29, the My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party will not be offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Reminder! Chef Mickey’s to Offer Brunch: Beginning May 31, 2015, Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will offer brunch. For brunch, the menu of breakfast favorites expands with soup; salads including Caesar; seafood, fresh broccoli, antipasto, chicken and Caprese, and hot dishes such as barbecued ribs, seafood étouffée and baked salmon. (And, yes, the famous Mickey waffles are on the brunch menu.) The ice cream bar and Contemporary bakery sweets also will be part of the expansive buffet. Operating hours in the morning will be changed to 7:00am – 2:30pm, with brunch items being added to the buffet after 11:30am. Hours for brunch are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Breakfast is still 7-11:30 a.m. and dinner 5-9:30 p.m.) Meals are one table-service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. Reservations open May 22 for what promises to be a popular new addition to Walt Disney World Resort dining.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! Dining Plan Enhancements Coming Soon: Starting May 31, Guests will have more flexibility choice in using entitlements in nearly every Disney-operated food & beverage and merchandise venue throughout Walt Disney World Resort. This includes substitutions, expanded snack offerings and more. Details have not yet been released.
New! Hoypoloi Gallery Now Closed at Downtown Disney: After 18 years, Hoypoloi Gallery officially bid Downtown Disney farewell on May 25, 2015. Guests can find some of their favorite art and gift items at Hoypoloi’s sister gallery, Pop Gallery (in Downtown Disney, between Splitsville and AMC Theater). You can also visit their three Chicago locations at O’Hare International Airport (Terminals 1 and 2) and Chinatown. A new location for United World Soccer, a store specializing in authentic soccer gear and merchandise from teams around the globe, will take Hoypoloi’s place in July.
Reminder! “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party at Typhoon Lagoon May 22-July 5: As part of the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, a new summertime dance party is surfing into Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. From May 22 through July 5, Guests can join in the “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party daily (weather permitting) at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Surf Pool Beach. Guests can join “bikers” Rev and Kicks and “surfers” Bingo and Sunny as they dance and play beach-themed games while DJ “Amp” spins remixes of retro tunes. “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party is inspired by the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Teen Beach 2,” set to premiere this summer.
Reminder! Cirque du Soleil Dark May 17-31: From May 17-31, Cirque du Soleil will experience a dark period. There will be no performances at this time.
New! ‘Tomorrowland’ Shirt Available at Disney Parks Online Store: To celebrate the release of this new motion picture, a T-shirt for adults, women and kids is now available on the Disney Parks online store through May 28. Designed by Disney Design Group artist Richard Terpstra, the shirts will contain a glow-in-the-dark “Tomorrowland” logo. The back of the shirts will also have the word “Tomorrowland.” You can find the shirt by visiting this link. Also, an open edition Tomorrowland pin will be released at Disney Parks. I couldn’t resist recreating a scene from the film using this new pin as a prop. Look for the pin in a variety of merchandise locations at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.
Reminder! Star Wars Force for Change: Starting May 15, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will carry T-shirts for adults, women and kids featuring a stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During the final weekend, June 12-14, they will offer a limited edition stormtrooper pin at Darth’s Mall. Twenty-five percent of the retail sale price of this product will be donated to U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF Kid Power, an innovative new program that uses the world’s first Wearable-For-Good to get youth physically active to provide lifesaving, nutrition-rich food packets to kids in need around the world. These items are the first products for Star Wars: The Force Awakens released by Disney Parks. They are also the first character products released for the upcoming film. To learn more about Star Wars: Force For Change, please visit www.StarWars.com/ForceForChange.
Closures and Refurbishments
Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.
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