Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on these links and make a qualifying purchase, I will receive a small commission from those purchases.
“What’s New” for Week of Nov 20, 2013
Walt Disney World, Disneyland & Universal 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!
New! Limited Time Magic - It’s the most wonderful time of the year to visit Magic Kingdom Park. Join the young citizens of Main Street, U.S.A., as they jingle down the street in the Holly Jolly Trolley show, just for the holiday season. And be sure to wear your “Glow with the Show” Ears during nighttime performances of Wishes and “Celebrate the Magic,” featuring a special holiday finale and a new sequence inspired by Disney’s newest comedy adventure, “Frozen,” debuting November 17! It’s all part of Limited Time Magic, through January 4.
New! Cancellation Policy for all Table Service Restaurants: Beginning November 20, when booking a reservation at any table service restaurant, Guests will be required to provide a credit card to hold the reservation. A charge of $10 per person will be applied if the cancellation isn’t made at least one day in advance.
New! Check Your Quick Service Receipts: Guests who visit certain quick service dining locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks Nov. 19 through Jan. 6 will receive a coupon attached to their receipt. The coupon offers 20 percent off purchase at participating merchandise locations during store opening and 1 p.m. between Nov. 19 and Jan. 7.
New! FastPass+ and MagicBand Update: As part of the testandadjust process for MyMagic+, Guests staying at Disney’s Pop Century Resort arriving on and after Nov. 14 will be issued only a MagicBand for use throughout their stay at the Walt Disney World Resort.
Starting Sunday, Nov. 17, handheld devices will be used to identify Walt Disney World Resort hotel Guests
for Extra Magic Hours at all Walt Disney World theme parks. Magicbands will be scanned in advance of
entering the theme parks to verify guests are entitled to Extra Magic Hours.
Also beginning Nov. 17, an alternateFastPass+ selection process will be tested at Disney’s Hollywood
Studios. This approach is designed to enable more Guests to secure their most preferred experience.
Guests will choose from two groups of experiences (groups may change throughout the test).
- Guests will select one experience from the first group.Currently, the first group includes Toy Story Midway Mania!, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Fantasmic! and Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage.
- Guests will select two experiences from the second group. Currently, the second group includes The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, The Great Movie Ride, Muppet*Vision 3D, Disney Junior – Live on Stage!, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show.
Guests who already have made FastPass+ selections will be able to keep their selections, as long as they
do not cancel their entire selection set; changes can be made to individual experiences. Inpark Guests with questions should be directed to a FastPass+ kiosk or service center.
New! Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques Celebrate Disney’s ‘Frozen’ and the Holidays at Disney Parks: New packages were recently introduced that celebrate the upcoming release of Disney’s “Frozen” and the holidays at Disney Parks. The “Frozen” package includes your choice of the Anna or Elsa wigs, plus shimmering makeup, face gems, nail polish, a Princess sash and a Princess cinch
bag. For an additional fee, you can add the Anna or Elsa costume and crown plus the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique imaging package to the “Frozen” package. The Holiday Minnie Package includes shimmering makeup, face gem, nail polish, a Princess sash, a Princess cinch bag, and choice of hairstyle. The package also includes a festive a Holiday Minnie Mouse costume complete with a coordinating Minnie
Mouse headband. Both offering will end on January 3, 2014, or when supplies run out. Guests in California will find these packages at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Fantasyland inside Disneyland park. Guests in Florida, will find these packages at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney Marketplace or inside Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park. You can also find more information at Disneyland.com/Style or DisneyWorld.com/Style.
Magic Kingdom News
New! Disney Vacation Club kiosk opens in New Fantasyland: On November 18, 2013, a new Disney Vacation Club kiosk opened in New Fantasyland, directly across from Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid. Set in Prince Eric’s Village, the new location is designed to look like a mapmaker’s studio and a woodcarver’s shop and features fun details for Guests and Members who can stop by and learn more about Disney Vacation Club.
New! Spice Road Table Coming to Morocco Pavilion at Epcot: While not open yet, the new Spice Road Table was recently announced as a future addition to World Showcase eateries. The new restaurant will offer a variety of Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks. Regional flavors from the Mediterranean are highlighted, along with a scenic view of the World Showcase lagoon in front of the Morocco pavilion.
New! Epcot Main Entrance Touch Point Conversion Completed: On November 13th, Epcot cast celebrated the completion of the Epcot Main Entrance project. Epcot was the first to test the Touch to Enter concept in spring of 2011. There are now 68 touch points, an increase from 28 turnstiles.
Animal Kingdom News
New! Tamu Tamu Refreshments Menu Changes on Nov. 24: Tamu Tamu Refreshments is changing a few of their lunch/dinner menu items starting Nov. 24. Adding: Slow cooked chicken curry Roasted vegetable and tofu curry Roasted chicken salad. Removing: Slow cooked pulled beef sandwich Fruit Salad Quinoa salad.
Downtown Disney News
New! Beautifully Disney’s Fantasy in Flight Debuting at Disney Parks: Dazzle those around you this holiday season with a shimmering new collection from Beautifully Disney titled Fantasy in Flight! Granting your wish for a party perfect color palette, this collection sparkles with imagination. Look for lip glosses, nail polishes, a mini nail polish set, eye shadow palette and more beginning November 23! Join us November 23 as we launch the new Fantasy in Flight collection at Disney Vault 28 in the Downtown Disney District.
Beautifully Disney is working on a few special opportunities at Disney Vault 28 between 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. A special Beautifully Disney launch event will take place the same day at TrenD in Downtown Disney Marketplace at the Walt Disney World Resort from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. with a special meet and greet opportunity with fashionista Isabella as well as minimakeover stations.
New! Downtown Disney Construction Updates: Entrance 3 is now completely closed to inbound and
outbound vehicular traffic. Pedestrians, including Cast Members traveling from the Hess lot, can continue to
use the crosswalk, passing through Entrance 3. Ring Road will be closed to all vehicular traffic from Planet
Hollywood to DisneyQuest, as work on the West Garage project continues. Guests traveling in vehicles that
wish to move between the east and west parking lots will need to use Buena Vista Drive. Pleasure Island
Taxi Service Relocation Taxi service, formerly in front of Planet Hollywood, has been relocated to the Bridge
2 area in front of Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant.
New! Pedestrian Walkway Opens at Downtown Disney: A new pedestrian walkway connects the West Side and Pleasure Island at Downtown Disney. This temporary addition will help with guest traffic flow and should make it easier to move from one district to the other. The beautiful boardwalk meanders alongVillage Lake, offering guests a spectacular waterfront view.
Holidays Arrive at Walt Disney World
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Began November 8, 2013 at Magic Kingdom Park: Enjoy live entertainment, festive fireworks and a jolly holiday parade at this winter celebration in Magic Kingdom Park— on select nights from 7:00 PM to midnight, November 8 to December 20, 2013! Party highlights include: Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle, Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, Holiday Wishes Fireworks: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season, Meet-andgreet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom park with some of your favorite Disney Characters, Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa and a magical snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A!
New! Meet Santa Claus at Downtown Disney Marketplace: The Downtown Disney Area is be decked in yuletide cheer, with twinkling lights, holiday carolers and storytellers for Festival of the Seasons Nov. 15 Dec. 29. Santa Claus will visit and take photos with Guests at his chalet in the Downtown Disney Marketplace during the following times: Nov. 15 – 28 5 – 10 p.m. and Nov. 29 – Dec. 24 noon – 10 p.m. After Santa heads north, Santa Goofy steps in to take his place: Dec. 25 – 29 310 p.m.
New! Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney: During Festival of the Seasons Guests will be immersed in a holiday scene throughout the Downtown Disney area. Largerthanlife Toy Soldiers and drifting Snowflake stilt walkers will set the scenes. Captivating storytellers will entertain and educate with tales of Hanukkah at Keith’s Park, Nov. 27 – Dec. 4, and Kwanzaa on the Waterside stage, Dec. 26 – 27.
Holiday display installations are beginning at Walt Disney World Resort hotels too! Most will be complete this week or next.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is celebrating its 15th year of their famous lifesized gingerbread house. It officially opened November 16th. The Grand Floridian Christmas tree is being installed Nov 20.
At Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, a replica of a New Jersey shore boardwalk concession stand is sweet enough to entice the grumpiest of Scrooges. Don’t forget: The talented pastry chef that designed the famous gingerbread creation will meet guests November 29. Pastry chef Matt Avery will be meeting with Guests from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Disney’s Boardwalk.
At Disney’s Beach Club Resort, chocolate and fondant ponies prance on a lifesize, edible spinning carousel complemented by a miniature gingerbread replica of Cinderella Castle.
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, a 17-foot-tall gingerbread holiday tree, inspired by the art of Disney legend Mary Blair, has 15 hidden Mickeys to find.
At Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, an adorable holiday village, complete with a miniature train, is surrounded
with sugarrock mountains.
At Epcot, Mrs. Claus’ Bake Shop at the Promenade at the American Adventure Pavilion will sell freshly baked holiday items beginning Nov. 29. 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.
At Magic Kingdom Park, a miniature gingerbread replica of the 1776 Independence Hall in Philadelphia will delight history buffs who pass through Liberty Square.
Renovations and Closures at Walt Disney World
- “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 Hollywood Studios
- Lights, Motors, Action 11/18/13 - 11/22/13
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 Wilderness Lodge
- Villas Hidden Springs Pool & Spa 10/14/13 - 11/15/13
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! Limited Time Magic Get ready to glow at Disney California Adventure Park: As part of Limited Time Magic, make your way to a special viewing area for performances of “World of Color – Winter Dreams”! This wondrous nighttime experience brings to life the spirit of the season with beloved Disney characters, heartwarming holiday music and dazzling special effects. And when you wear your Glow with the Show Ears, you can even gain access to a special viewing area—available to Guests with valid “World of Color” FASTPASS® tickets! This viewing area has a limited capacity, and entry will only be offered for a limited time, on a firstcome firstserve basis. Don’t miss out on this glowing opportunity!
- New! Meet Stephen Twining from Twinings of London: This month, Stephen Twining, a tenthgeneration member of the famous tea family, will be meeting with guests during special events held in Florida and California. Stephen, who joined Twinings in 1985, now serves as Director of Corporate Relations for Twinings of London. At the upcoming appearances, he will be meeting with guests and signing tea boxes. There will also be demonstrations on how to make both cold and hot teas. Guests in Florida met Stephen at the Tea Caddy location on November 1516 from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. Guests at Disneyland Resort can meet him on November 22. He will be at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe located inside Disneyland park from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. that day.
- New! Check Quick Service Receipts: Guests who visit certain quickservice (QSR) locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks Nov. 19 through Jan. 6 will receive a coupon attached to their receipt. The coupon offers 20 percent off purchase at participating merchandise locations during store opening and 1 p.m. between Nov. 19 and Jan. 7.
- Downtown Disney Winter Village at the Disneyland Resort Opened Nov 14: If you feel that the holidays are incomplete without ice skating – either doing it yourself or comfortably watching others do it – the Downtown Disney District will be the place for you this holiday season. An entire Downtown Disney Winter Village will spring up around ESPN Zone and AMC Theatres on Thursday, November 14, adding extra cheer to the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. You’ll be able to visit quaint holiday cottages, browse for gifts in the “shopping chalets” and admire a 30-foot Christmas tree, the centerpiece of Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink, inspired by the lovable snowman in the latest Walt Disney Pictures animated feature “Frozen.” Operating hours are 3 – 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 3 – 11:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Other activities in the Downtown Disney District are scheduled for various dates and times during the holiday season.
- New Surprises in Store for ‘it’s a small world’ Holiday at Disneyland Park: Holidays at Disneyland Resort just got merrier… and they’re about to get a little brighter, too! Evenings beginning November 12, the smiling clock at the front of “it’s a small world” Holiday will mark every quarter hour in a surprising new way. Using advanced 3D projection technology, the façade of the entire attraction will be transformed into an enormous, clockwork mechanism.
- Renovations– Click on this pdf to download the latest renovations and closures at Disneyland.
Universal Orlando Resort
New Despicable MeInspired Kids’ Suites Debut at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel: The world’s first and only Despicable Meinspired hotel suites are making their debut at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort. The suites bring to life the excitement and playfulness of Gru’s house, featuring missile beds and Minions, who rappel from the ceiling and surround guests with their unpredictable antics.
November 21 – 23: TNA Returns To Universal Studios in Orlando: TNA IMPACT Wrestling returns to Universal Orlando for tapings on November 21, 22 & 23 on Sound Stage 19. Each show starts at 7:00pm and the park guest line opens at 6:00pm.
Hard Rock Live: Upcoming shows at Hard Rock Live include Craig Ferguson on Wednesday, Nov 20 at 8:00pm and Janelle Monae on Friday, Nov 22 at 8:00pm. Info: http://www.hardrock.com/live/locations/orlando/calendar.aspx
Harbor Nights Wine Tasting & Jazz Friday, November 29, 2013 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM: Join us for a wine tasting and jazz event designed to capture the ambiance of the Mediterranean, featuring select wines and
sparkling wines, gourmet food samples, live music and more! Harbor Nights takes place under the twinkling lights of the Harbor Piazza at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando. Plus, don’t miss the grand illumination of Portofino’s Christmas tree under the twinkling lights of the majestic Harbor Piazza. Tickets: General admission: $45 in advance/$55 at the door VIP/reserved tickets: $75 online only (VIP/reserved includes ticket, seating in private section, private wine station and passed hors d’oeuvres).
Hogwarts Express Arrives at UOR - The Hogwarts Express has arrived at Universal Orlando Resort.
Universal Orlando placed the iconic locomotive and train tender on the tracks between the two theme parks.
Just like in the books and films – guests will be able to board the Hogwarts Express and travel between The
Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, which opened in June 2010 at Islands of Adventure, and
‘London’ when The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios Florida next
Leaky Cauldron Restaurant will be part of new Diagon Alley: Representatives from Universal Orlando held a press conference at the World Travel Market in London. As part of the meeting it was announced that the
Leaky Cauldron will be part of the new Diagon Alley opening next year.
Jurassic Park Midway Games - New Midway style games have opened in the Jurassic park area at Islands of Adventure.
Closures and Refurbishments
- The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™: Closed 11/3 11/23
- Dragon Challenge™: Closed 11/4 11/22, the Chinese Fireball side will be closed for seasonal maintenance. However, the Hungarian Horntail side will operate as usual.
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 email@example.com for more information.