“What’s New” in Walt Disney World, Disneyland & Universal Orlando News
There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort. Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Disney news and at Universal Orlando!
What’s New This Week?
New! New Display at the Stave Church Gallery in Epcot’s Norway Now Open: Guests will discover a new gallery exhibit exploring how the culture and beauty of Norway inspired the creators of Disney’s “Frozen.” The new gallery show takes a look at how old Norway artifacts have inspired current design motifs, which are then reflected in the design of the world of Disney’s “Frozen.” Inside the new gallery, Norsk Kultur, Guests will find:
- An authentic handmade bunad – the traditional costume of Norway.
- Musical instruments including a hardanger fiddle (a stringed instrument from Norway; similar to a violin) and some handmade horn instruments
- Southern Sami Man’s outfit – in the film, the character Kristoff represents a blend of both the Northern and Sami culture. The Sami are Scandinavia’s indigenous people.
- Some of the artifacts date back to the 1200s
New! Rescued Manatee Arrives at The Seas with Nemo & Friends: The Seas with Nemo & Friends is now home to Lil Joe, a manatee who was first rescued in 1989 as an orphaned calf in Volusia County, Florida. Lil Joe joins Lou, another rescued manatee at The Seas. The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a designated rehabilitation site for rescued manatees and serves as a temporary home until the manatee is well enough to return to its habitat. Manatees are considered an endangered species in Florida and Disney is very proud to play a role in their rehabilitation.
New! Epcot celebrates Holidays Around the World: Epcot celebrates Holidays Around the World as each country celebrates the story of the holidays in their culture.
- JOYFUL! A Gospel Celebration of the Seasons, performing daily at the Future World Fountain Stage brings together a blend of urban music and soulful gospel.
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth can be seen every night around World Showcase lagoon at 9:30 p.m. and features a unique holiday finale with a special message of peace and goodwill.
- Storytellers around World Showcase share the story of holiday customs and traditions of their culture. New this season are The Canadian Holiday Voyaguers who take Guests on a musical journey through the Great White North.
- Holidays Around the World and World Showcase Holiday ornaments can be found in Santa’s Village at the American Adventure. Blown glass ornaments by Reinhard Hertzog can be found in Christkindmarket, Germany through Dec. 23.
- Guests can indulge in limited time holiday offerings at Promenade, including a turkey, stuffing and cranberry waffle, sweet potato waffle, hot holiday Twinings Tea, and flavored hot chocolates and ciders.Don’t miss the fresh baked gingerbread men and chocolate chip cookies in America, Stollen fruitcake in Germany, Peacan Maple Bark in Canada, and much more!
- The Candlelight Processional is back again this year with popular returning narrators Whoopi Goldberg, Amy Grant and Neil Patrick Harris. New this year are celebrity narrators Ashley Judd and Sigourney Weaver. The Candlelight Processional can be seen nightly at America Gardens Theatre at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m.
New! Gingerbread Creations at The Land: On Dec. 2, The Land Pavilion will be showcasing the work of Disney pastry chefs who have created gingerbread icons from Disney parks and resorts around the world.
New! Magic Kingdom Park Third Bus Loop Opened Nov. 24: Phase I of the Magic Kingdom Park third bus loop opened Nov. 24. The new bus loop allows larger buses to offer transportation between certain resorts and the Magic Kingdom. The next phase is said to relocate the park-to-park buses from the Transportation and Ticket Center (TTC) to park bus loops.
New! Merchandise Events:
- Dec. 4 – 8: Greg McCullough, Disney Artist signing at the Art of Disney from 1 10 p.m.
New! Downtown Disney Construction Update:
- Parking Entrance 3 is closed, and the section of Ring Road between Entrances 3 and 4 remains closed as work on the West Garage expands. Guests traveling in vehicles who wish to move between the east and west parking lots need to use Buena Vista Drive.
- Work on an outdoor food expansion at House of Blues is in progress. Event ticket sales have relocated to inside the House of Blues merchandise store and the existing ticket booth will change to become a quick service food location.
- Demolition of the former Cap’n Jack’s Restaurant has begun.
- Work on a new Starbucks location near World of Disney will begin soon.
- Work will begin soon in Keith’s Park (between LEGO and TREX) to change the flow of the walkways
Closures and Refurbishments
- “it’s a small world” 12/02/13 - 12/12/13
- Casey’s Corner 01/06/14 - 02/15/14
- Tomorrowland Speedway 01/06/14 - 01/12/14
- Splash Mountain 01/06/14 - 03/21/14
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 01/13/14 - 01/16/14
- Liberty Square Riverboat 01/21/14 - 01/30/14
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Kali River Rapids 12/02/13 - 12/13/2013
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
- Closed for annual refurbishment 10/27/13 - 12/21/13
Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park
- Closed for annual refurbishment 01/06/14 - 03/17/14
Disney’s All Star Sports Resort
- End Zone Food Court Closed 08/05/13 - 12/20/13
- Arcade closed during this time frame as it will be used as a temporary Food Court with “Grab & Go” items 07/29/13 - 12/20/13
- Surf’s Up Pool 01/06/14 - 01/24/14
Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Quiet Pool 12/02/13 - 12/03/13
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
- Pool slides pools remain open 01/27/14 - 02/07/14
Disney’s Polynesian Resort
- Beach & Sunset Point Access to the east portion of the beach, near the Transportation and Ticket Center, and Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment. However, all other amenities will not be affected. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period.
Disney’s Pop Century Resort
- Hippy Dippy Pool 12/09/13 - 12/11/13
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort French Quarter
- Doubloon Lagoon Pool transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside 01/13/14 - 02/28/14
Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort
- Congress Park Pool 01/22/14 - 01/23/14
Downtown Disney® Area
- Cap’n Jack’s Marina Closed
- Parking Lots H,I,J,K Closed
- Fuego closed
- Wetzels Pretzels closed 10/20/13
- House of Blues Starting on November 14, The House of Blues at Downtown Disney West Side is expanding its patio, building a new stage and adding a barbecue smokehouse. The House of Blues ticket sales window has moved inside the House of Blues retail shop. The expansion is expected to be complete in midJanuary 2014. During this time, there will be no live entertainment on the Front Porch stage.
Disney Golf Courses
- Disney’s Palm Golf Course Closed 06/12/13 - 12/15/13
Disneyland Resort in California
New! Support Toys for Tots by Donating a Toy at Disneyland Resort: This December, make the holiday season brighter for children in need throughout Orange County, Calif., by donating a new, unwrappedtoy valued at $10 or more at the Disneyland Resort! Toy collections will take place December 1 – 14 at the World of Disney store, Disneyland Resort hotels and various locations at the Downtown Disney District. Members of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and Anaheim Fire and Rescue will be on hand December 7 and December 14 from 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. to collect toys at the west end of Downtown Disney District, by AMC Theatres and ESPN Zone.
New! Downtown Disney Winter Village at the Disneyland Resort: An entire Downtown Disney Winter Village sprung up around ESPN Zone and AMC Theatres on Thursday, November 14, adding extra cheer to the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. Various activities were described in a previous blog post, but new activities are starting up this week, including Carolers on December 5 and December 1625, Anaheim Ballet performing scenes from “The Nutcracker” on December 5 and 19, and Downtown Disney
Unwrapped, a presentation of fun gift ideas beginning Friday, November 29 (Black Friday).
Closures and Refurbishments
- Click on this pdf to download the latest renovations and closures at Disneyland.
Universal Orlando Resort
New! REVEALED: New Details About Harry Potter Celebration Event: Join Harry Potter™ fans from around the world for interactive experiences, exciting demonstrations, and more during A Celebration of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando® Resort, January 24 – 26, 2014. Come and celebrate all of Harry Potter’s adventures with interactive experiences, exciting demonstrations, and more. The celebration kicks off with a Harry Potter™ Tribute on Friday – a special evening event featuring select cast members and awardwinning artist, Kazu Kibuishi, who recently reimagined the Harry Potter book covers. Other special activities over the weekend include
- A wand masterclass hosted by Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, featuring Wand Combat choreographer Paul Harris and a special guest
- Q&A sessions with members of the Harry Potter cast
- Panel discussions that cannot be missed with MinaLima creators of the graphics seen in the movies▪ Pottermore – an exclusive behindthescenes look at Pottermore.com the free interactive website from J.K. Rowling (Saturday & Sunday)
- Plus, guests can explore the oneofakind Harry Potter Expo with interactive activities for fans including a vignette of movie props from Harry Potter: The Exhibition and The Sorting Hat™ experience
- And More
Universal Holidays will begin Dec 7th, so we will have more updates on that next week!
Closures and Refurbishments
- Cinematic Spectacular will not be shown on December 11 & 12.
Siera is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida. She would love to help you plan your next vacation at no cost to you. Request your free, no obligation quote on the right side of the page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.