This week isn’t even over yet but Disney has shared a few different pieces of exciting news with the public. In chronological order…
February 12th: Rivers of Light show opens. The long anticipated show that was supposed to open last summer is now ready to go. This date is based on Fastpass+ bookings which recently were added to the system.
March 17th: Although this date was announced a while ago, I am so excited for The Beauty and The Beast movie!
May 11th: Final showing of Wishes which is the nighttime fireworks show at Magic Kingdom.
I really hope I can see Wishes one more time before it ends because it is a fantastic show and there is nothing like the soundtrack.
May 12th: “Happily Ever After” replaces Wishes as the new nighttime show. I expect Magic Kingdom will be absolutely packed on this night.
May 27th: The opening date of Animal Kingdom’s Pandora! We have not been able to see much of the construction, besides the one very tall tower structure so I am interested to see what Disney has done with Avatar, even though it was not my favorite movie. I will definitely need to watch it again before May 27th.
2019: At some point in this year, the Star Wars Land portion of Hollywood Studios will be opening!
In conclusion, this summer is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World parks. 2019 will be a fantastic year to go if you are a Star Wars fan, or you can wait until 2020 when the hype decreases a little.
5K Part 2 and half marathon disappointment posts coming up soon!
D-Luxe Burger is a new burger place which will be open in May in Disney Springs. To be honest, I do not care about having a burger place in Disney Springs. What caught my eye is that D-Luxe Burger will have a wide range of gelato milkshakes! I think that is the best Disney news I have heard in a while.
Disney is also piloting an After Hours ticketed event for Magic Kingdom where you pay around $150 to stay in Magic Kingdom from 11pm-2am. The latest buzz in the online community is worry about the Extra Magic Hours for resort guests going away. I would really hate if this was true because I personally won’t be paying for four hours in Magic Kingdom.
My family was in Walt Disney World a few days ago (without me) and could not get over the parking system at Disney Springs. They also asked why I had not mentioned it before so I figured I could mention it now. The parking garage at Disney Springs tells you how many spaces are free and also has green lights above the spots that are open and red lights above the spots that are occupied.
Only a few weeks until registration opens for January WDW Marathon weekend! Is anyone signing up? I hopefully will be.
It seems Walt Disney World changes every time I open my laptop! I’m going to break down the changes by park to keep myself organized but I am sure there are a few I might miss.
- Metal detectors are now at all Walt Disney World parks before you enter the park. I am interested to hear how this is working as the regular bag check lines can get pretty lengthy some days. My advice to Disney would be to somehow try to put the metal detectors ahead of the bag check so the lines wouldn’t get so backed up. For example, put a line of metal detectors coming off the buses at MK, at the monorail exit at MK, and off the ferry at MK. Extra security is always good but I also do not want to spend half an hour in the line to get into the park.
- A new sit down restaurant has opened called Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen. To see the menu click here. The menu looks a little more daring than many of the Magic Kingdom menus which is exciting and I hope I can try it in January for dinner.
- The Star Wars Launch Bay opened which has different items from the Star Wars movies and you can even get a photo with Darth Vader or a Storm Trooper depending on the timing. Star Wars Episode VII has made over 1 billion worldwide. I saw the movie over break and it was great. I am looking forward to getting my photo with a Storm Trooper next summer.
- “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular” fireworks show debuted a few days ago as well and is a Star Wars fireworks show
- The final days of the Osborne Dancing Lights are coming up. I have heard that there is now a line to get into the Streets of America at night and that the parking lots become full. So, if you would like to see the lights, get to Studios early and leave early.
- One Man’s Dream had a preview of the Good Dinosaur for a while, not sure if that is still there. A Star Wars preview was also in one of the theaters at the park.
- Captain EO has left Epcot! For now…but I hope for a while as I miss Honey I Shrunk the Audience. The short term replacement is a Pixar Short Film Festival which sounds like a fun, air conditioned way to break up a long day at Epcot.
- The Ganachery, a new chocolate store opened and looks delicious.
- Two pedestrian bridges are open
- Morimoto Asia is opening a new quick service place with a limited menu, similar to how the Wolfgang Puck Restaurant has an Express section for quick items.
- It seems a new store opens every week so stay tuned for more updates
So I made preliminary dining reservations for my family’s next trip to Walt Disney World. We will be visiting some of the usual places, such as Liberty Tree Tavern, but also visiting some restaurants we haven’t been to in years such as the Crystal Palace and Via Napoli.
I have to say I was shocked when I was up at 8am days ago to make the reservations and some of the restaurants already did not have the time slots I wanted! I had expected Be Our Guest to be filled, but it was not, so I had booked it first. Beaches and Cream, one of the last ones I booked, had no dinner times. The only had 4:15 or 7:15pm. Now did I miss a memo that Beaches and Cream was suddenly really hard to get into? I have never made a reservation for it before. The one time we did go we walked up and had to wait half an hour to get in which wasn’t bad. Morimoto Asia also does not take reservations until 90 days before your trip. Okay, that’s fine. I understand it is technically not a Disney restaurant even though it is on Disney property, but I like to have everything scheduled!
And we have a large crew for some of the meals because different family members are joining us and our standard traveling party for this trip is already 8 people, so scheduling can be tricky. I am sure everything will work out though and until the trip begins I will be getting extra excited!
Oh how I wish I had a hot chocolate on Main Street right now.
Thanks to a reader suggestion, this post will talk about the rides I have unfortunately gotten stuck on before. Whenever someone gets on the ride who needs help getting in the vehicle, the ride slows down and often stops. So I will not count the short stops which were most likely due to this.
- WEDway People Mover-15 min waiting time, and then we were evacuated off the ride during the 2013 WDW Marathon weekend. So I had ran a half in the morning and gotten evacuated off the ride in the afternoon. They did give us each a free FASTPASS to use anywhere in Magic Kingdom so that was very nice and we saw a little behind the scenes look at a stairwell near the People Mover.
- Splash Mountain-5 min waiting time. I was stuck on this one while my sister and dad were watching the fireworks. I ended up being able to watch them while our boat was stuck so that was nice. I knew we were going to get stopped eventually because they had let too many boats out quickly so we were really backed up.
- Ariel’s Undersea Adventure-5-7min, of course we were stuck in the Ursula scene. I would have preferred any other scene I think.
- Journey into Imagination with Figment-7-10min. The theme song for this ride is great, but you get tired of it. We were stuck in the scene where everything is upside down so I spent a lot of time wondering about the upside down popcorn and if they ever clean the food of dust on the ceiling.
- Carousel of Progress 7-10min, got to see one of the scenes twice since we did not rotate!
Those are all of the rides I can remember right now that I have been truly stuck on. What rides have you been stuck on? Have you been evacuated off any of them?
Walt Disney World is twice the size of Manhattan and even though I have visited many times, I still have not seen or done it all. Here is a list of some of the things I have not done at Walt Disney World, which I had fun putting together.
- I have not had a Turkey Leg yet. It is on my to do list but unfortunately our meal times and ride hopes never seem to align with buying a huge turkey leg.
- I have not been to many of the resorts and have only stayed at two (if you count the Swan as one).
- I have not used a fitness center (mostly because running outside is so nice at Old Key West and because I walk a lot during Disney trips)
- I have not experienced a Star Wars weekend and now I never will because they are ending them while Disney’s Hollywood Studios goes under construction for all of the new additions
- I have not seen a game at ESPN Wide World of Sports
- I have not looked at all of the artifacts in the American Adventure Rotunda (might have years ago but don’t remember them)
- I have never seen all of the Circle Vision 360’s in Epcot
- I have not been chosen to open Magic Kingdom or be the family of the day
- I have not participated in any of Sammy Duvall’s Watersports at the Contemporary (although my mom went parasailing with my cousin)
- I have never had the Kitchen Sink at Beaches and Cream
But…I have finally filled my Mickey and Friends crushed penny book!