This November Epcot will welcome an all-new interactive show called The SpectacuLAB showcasing inside of their Innoventions space in Future World.
During this new show guests will be invited to join a group of real scientists and their tech-savvy intern to participate in a series of experiments and demonstrations to put scientific principles like ultrasonic pressure, barometric pressure, acceleration and force to the test to see how they have inspired the amazing technologies we enjoy today.
The audience participation in the demonstrations with the on-hand scientists will include Guests playing ultrasonic sensor drums, simply with the wave of their hand, changing the colors of barometric pressure cubes by only raising or lowering the cube, using accelerometer sensors measuring the guest’s force when using a hammer, and observing a scientist explain the principle of force by comfortably resting on a bed of nails.
The SpectacuLAB show was developed with the show’s sponsor Murata, a global leader in the design, manufacturing, and supply of electronic components that are used to create consumer products such as mobile devices, healthcare equipment, and automotive electronics.
“The SpectacuLAB will spark the intellectual curiosity of children and adults alike,” said Tsuneo Murata, President of Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd, a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of electronic components. “We are excited to share this with guests visiting Epcot at Walt Disney World.”
In addition to teaming with Murata, the Walt Disney Parks Creative Entertainment joined forces with Science from Scientists, a national, non-profit which promotes the importance of STEM education with a mission to empower youth in science, technology, engineering, and mathematical fields.
“Epcot is the perfect venue to help encourage STEM participation,” said Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle, founder and Executive Director of Science from Scientists. “Teaming up with Murata allows us to showcase scientific concepts in an exciting and hands-on fashion. We are thrilled to further STEM education at a place like Disney that inspires so many children and families.”
Are you the person your friends and colleagues always seek out for heartfelt advice on planning a Disney vacation? Have you put together more amazing Disney trips than you can count, and do you want to help others do the same?
If so, then you may want to apply for a spot on the 2018 Disney Parks Moms Panel, the go-to online resource for guests seeking honest and relatable Disney vacation tips from likeminded parents.
From September 6-13, 2017, the search is on for everyday moms, dads and trusted family members to serve on the wildly popular forum. Applications can be submitted online at www.momspanelsearch.com.
Applicants will be selected based on their personal experience exploring various Disney destinations and their ability to communicate their Disney knowledge to prospective guests in easy-to-understand and friendly ways. The selection committee is eager to hear from parents from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who can lend diverse trip-planning insights, including moms, dads, grandparents, military service members, and more.
Heading into its 11th search, the Disney Parks Moms Panel has grown to be one of the most popular and trusted Disney vacation planning tools. It offers tailored parent-to-parent vacation advice in a convenient question-and-answer format. Additionally, the panel is available in four languages – English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese – to meet the unique needs of every type of Disney traveler and Disney hopes to welcome even more bilingual panelists to the 2018 panel.
“There is something so genuine in the exchange of trusted advice among neighbors. That’s what inspired the first Disney Parks Moms Panel in 2008 and why it continues to grow and serve travelers throughout the world 10 years later,” said Leanne O’Regan, Director of Public Relations for Disney Parks. “The panel is filled with personal, heartfelt advice based on panelists’ real experiences in Disney theme parks, resorts & hotels, and cruises. We know this year’s search will bring out another impressive group of applicants who know the ins and outs of planning a Disney vacation. We can’t wait to hear from them and see who will be selected to join the 2018 panel!”
Accessible at home or on-the-go, the Disney Parks Moms Panel offers firsthand insights into a myriad of topics like how to maximize time in the parks with preschoolers and how Disney Cruise Line can accommodate families with special needs. Advice comes from real-life moms and dads who have been there before, providing instant connections to fellow parents.
New questions are posted daily, and visitors can explore ‘Trending Topics’ and ‘Most Useful Questions’ to uncover valuable trip planning advice they may have not considered to ask. Of course, the Disney Parks Moms Panel is also the source for tips on new Disney attractions and entertainment like the latest groundbreaking experiences: Pandora – The World of Avatar at Walt Disney World Resort and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disneyland Resort.
How to Apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel
Applications for the 2018 Disney Parks Moms Panel will be accepted from noon EDT on September 6, 2017, through noon EDT on September 13, 2017. To apply, visit www.momspanelsearch.com. The application process follows the below format, though subject to change if needed: a series of short- answer questions in the first round, additional short-answer questions and submission of a brief video in Round 2, and phone interviews for applicants making it to the final round. The 2018 Disney Parks Moms Panel will be announced in January. Applicants selected must be available to attend a training session at Walt Disney World Resort from November 29 to December 3, 2017.
About the Disney Parks Moms Panel
The Disney Parks Moms Panel is the official online forum where guests can get tips and insights from real moms, dads and grandparents who have mastered the art of planning Disney vacations. Guests can pose questions to the panelists in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as gain access to other tools for planning and booking a Disney vacation. Featuring just 12 members in its inaugural year in 2008, the panel now boasts 40 park-savvy panelists as a result of the popularity of the site and the ever-growing number of questions submitted by curious Guests. Serving as independent contractors, the panelists receive a rewards trip to one Disney Destination for themselves and up to three family members for their participation on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. For more information and to meet the current panelists, visit www.DisneyParksMomsPanel.com.
During a special preview of D23 Expo 2017, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Bob Chapek unveiled a first look at the epic, richly detailed model of the Star Wars-themed lands under development at Disneyland park in Anaheim, California, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida. This stunning exhibition, on display in Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ “A Galaxy of Stories” pavilion at D23 Expo, is yet another example of the breathtaking new worlds, immersive storytelling and transformational guest experiences that set Disney apart.
FIRST LOOK! Star Wars Land Model – Walt Disney World – Disneyland
“To say we are excited for the Star Wars-themed lands to open in 2019 is an understatement,” Chapek said. “All along, we have said this will be game-changing, and through the model we can begin to see how truly epic these immersive new worlds will be.”
Chapek plans to share exciting new details about the project during the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Hall D23 Presentation on Saturday. The model will remain on display at the pavilion throughout the weekend to give visitors an up-close look at what’s to come on this never-before seen planet. In addition, the pavilion will display models, artwork and media that provide a first-ever look at some of the locations, starships, creatures, and droids that guests will encounter when they visit this new planet.
This Summer you can find two new additions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to help add some pep to your evenings after a day in the park.
Summer Additions At Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Music of Pixar Live! A Symphony of Characters
Three times a night The Music of Pixar Live! takes to the Theater of the Stars Stage to celebrate 20 years of unforgettable soundtrack favorites from some of your Pixar favorites including Cars, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story, and UP performed by a live orchestra.
As you listen to your favorite, heartfelt songs you get to watch movie montages, outtakes, and interview excerpts with the folks behind Pixar’s captivating music.
Also, don’t be surprised if you find that several friends join in the fun along the way.
The finale of this 45 minute show stars YOU! You and your family get to join with the orchestra and some of your Pixar pals for an onscreen sing-along to Randy Newman’s Academy Award-nominated, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
Insider Tips – The Music of Pixar Live! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
* If you aren’t able to grab a FastPass+ or are not doing a Music of Pixar Live! Dining package, don’t worry too much about being able to grab a seat because the Theater of the Stars is rather large. I would suggest arriving early on traditionally busy days and weekends.
* Guests can enter the Theater of the Stars 20 minutes prior to showtime, and for your timeliness you will be rewarded with some preshow fun with the Green Army Men from Toy Story.
* If you have little ones in your traveling party and you are concerned about them sitting through a 45 minute show, try sitting towards the front to keep them engaged with the characters.
* While the center screen behind the orchestra is large, there are two smaller screens on either side of the stage that show the same images if you are seated on the side or back of the theater.
The Music of Pixar Live! has shows until August 27, 2017, so don’t forget to add this show to your summer plans in the park!
Disney Movie Magic
Thirty minutes before the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios can take in a 10 minute trip down movie memory lane that includes footage from movies from Mary Poppins to Pirates of the Caribbean movies to Tron that ends with an awesome montage of live-action comedies, adventures, musicals, and more!
Insider Tips – Disney Movie Magic at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
* Guests start grabbing prime spots up to an hour before Disney Movie Magic begins, so make sure you pay attention to where designated areas are located (usually with masking tape) so you won’t have to find a new spot late in the game.
* If you can’t get close to the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (The Great Movie Ride) for a sweet spot, trying staying as center as possible and go back a little further than you think so you can see all of the buildings around the Theatre as they also have projections.
* My favorite spot to watch Disney Movie Magic from is to the left (as you are facing Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) near the large projection booth, because you get to see all of the projections and laser effects.
* Disney Movie Magic is presented rain or shine, so be prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store!
There is no current end date listed for Disney Movie Magic, so I have my fingers crossed that it will be at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for awhile!
Both The Music of Pixar Live! and Disney Movie Magic are really great ways to wind down your Summer day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! I really enjoyed both shows, and can’t wait to watch them with Zoe & Dave!
Visits to Disney’s Animal Kingdom always include stops to earn Wilderness Explorers badges for my family, and I was really excited to find that in Pandora – The World of Avatar there were two new badges to earn!
The first thing that you will notice about the badge guides in Pandora – The World of Avatar is that they are in their typical uniforms and name tags instead of being a part of A.C.E. (Alpha Centauri Expeditions).
This is because they are visiting Pandora – The World of Avatar like us, and are encouraging us to explore the area as we would a State Park back on Earth. (I thought it was a really a lovely way to encourage guests to explore and learn about their areas from a new perspective when they get home!)
As soon as you cross the bridge into the area, you will find your first of two Wilderness Explorers Badges!
Botany Badge – Plants help the planet!
At this badge location you will earn your Botany Badge by exploring the plants on Pandora (Page 11 of the Wilderness Explorers Handbook).
A Wilderness Explorer understands that plants are an essential part of the ecosystem on Pandora just as they are back on Earth. They support life, provide oxygen, and create habitats for animals. Plants also have many special features that help them survive. If you look closely you will see that many of the plants here on Pandora are similar to plants back on Earth.
For this badge Wilderness Explorers will interact with the adult Flaska Reclinata that you can find at the entrance to the Valley of Mo’ara, their offspring along the river, and plants that we have on earth.
Ecology Badge – Pandoran Animals
The Ecology Badge (Pages 12 & 13 in the Wilderness Explorers Handbook) location is closer to the floating mountains and some interesting Pandoran Animals…the Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis.
Ecology is the study of relationships among plants, animals, and their environment. the Na’vi understand that the plants and animals of Pandora are connected to each other in unique ways. What can you learn about these connections?
To earn this badge you will first spend time learning the basics of relationships that can be found in ecology from the Badge Guide before you start your search for the Pluropoda Saggitaria and Cerebellis Scapularis in Pandora – The World of Avatar.
We really had a great time earning the two new Wilderness Explorers Badges, and I really love the touch of Earth that has been brought to Pandora!
Family Tip! This is a great way for younger visitors to spend time while their family and friends are experiencing Avatar the Flight of Passage.
But with these new additions comes a little bit of bad news…Fans of the Wilderness Explorers program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will notice that in the new handbook two older Wilderness Explorers Badges for Hand Washing and Currency have been retired.
We’ll be bringing you more information about Pandora – The World of Avatar over the next few weeks, so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Pandora – The World of Avatar opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom officially on May 27, 2017, but before you make the 4.4 light year journey to the Valley of Mo’ara here are five things you will want to do before you go!
Five Things To Do Before Traveling To Pandora – The World of Avatar
1. Watch Avatar or read a synopsis
While it is not necessary to watch the almost 3 hour movie Avatar to enjoy your time in Pandora – The World of Avatar, knowing about the world will help you feel more at home in this new & beautiful land.
Over on icFlorida, you can find my short synopsis of the movie!
The year is 2154 and Jake Sully, a paralyzed former U.S. Marine, takes the place of his deceased brother in the Avatar Program on Pandora. After a six year flight, Jake awakens from cryrosleep and arrives at the Resources Development Administration (RDA) run colony who’s focus is mining the extremely valuable mineral called Unobtanium that is desperately needed on Earth and found in abundance on Pandora.
While Pandora is covered in lush rainforests, the air is poisonous for humans to breathe so the RDA has developed the Avatar Program that allows humans to control avatars, which are genetically engineered hybrids of humans and Na’vi the sentient race of tall, blue-skinned humanoids that are native to the planet.
After Jake learns to control his avatar body from Dr. Grace Augustine, he goes on to find out more about the Na’vi including their language and culture in hopes of furthering relationships with them…at least on the surface as he is also working under the orders of Colonel Miles Quaritch to get the Na’vi to move away from the Hometree so the large deposits of unobtanium can be mined.
Through a series of action-packed events Jake rides a Banshee, becomes accepted into the Omaticaya clan, and even earns the love and trust of a female Na’vi named Neytiri.
And of course as soon as that happens, things go sour as the RDA destroys the Hometree. Soon after Quaritch learns that several Na’vi clans are planning to meet at The Tree of Souls against the RDA mining on their planet, and he figures this is the best way to destroy all the Na’vi in one swoop…literally as Jake and the Na’vi ride Banshees as part of the attack and epic battle against the RDA.
The Na’vi win the battle, and exile most of the RDA back to Earth. At the end of the movie Jake returns to the Tree of Souls to undergo the consciousness transfer from his human body to his avatar form, and awakens to a new life as a Na’vi.
Let’s be honest…the My Disney Experience App can take up a good amount of valuable space on your device and the My Disney Experience website is fantastic to use when you are at home, BUT make sure that you reinstall the app before you arrive in the Valley of Mo’ara to take advantage of FastPass+, mobile ordering at the Satu’li Canteen (more on this soon), and to view your Disney PhotoPass pictures that can include exclusive magic shots in Pandora – The World of Avatar.
3. Check out the Menus at the Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu
The food inside of Pandora – The World of Avatar is a new take on casual, quick-service dining at Walt Disney World.
Inside the Satu’li Canteen, a former RDA mess hall that has been redecorated to include Na-vi art and cultural items, guests can dine all-day from a menu of healthy choices inspired by international cuisines and Pandora’s natural abundance.
I haven’t had the chance to try breakfast yet, but I highly recommend both the cheeseburger and vegetable curry steamed pods that are served with Crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Vegetable Chips.
Just outside of the Satu’li Canteen you can find Pongu Pongu, which is Na’vi for ‘Party Party’, offering a “bioluminescent” frozen cocktail called the Night Blossom that can be served with or without alcohol, the Mo’ara Margarita, two indigenous beers, and the most amazing sweet treat called Pongo Lumpia* with sweet pineapple and creamy filling.
*= I apologize for the lack of a photo of the Pongo Lumpia. I have no excuse other than I ordered it twice, and was so excited that I forgot to take a photo…again twice…but I feel like that’s much more of an endorsement than a photo!
4. Set a budget
After spending so much time in such an immersive atmosphere, you may find yourself inside Windtraders looking to bring a piece of Pandora- The World of Avatar home with you!
The merchandise for this new land is awesome with a little something for everyone and every budget!
I went a little crazy with my shopping haul, but remember that Annual Passholders receive a discount on their purchases (except for Banshee adoptions).
5. Plan to take advantage of Extended Park Hours
When you are planning your time in Pandora – The World of Avatar, make sure to keep in mind that from opening day on May 27th until July 4th that Disney’s Animal Kingdom park will stay open from 8 am until 11 pm for all guests giving you ample time to really explore the Bioluminescent flora and fauna of the Valley of Mo’ara.
However guests staying at select Walt Disney World Hotels will be able to take advantage of “Extra” Extra Magic Hours that will be offered exclusively in Pandora – The World of Avatar for a limited time from 11 pm to 1 am, May 27 to July 4, 2017!
We’ll be bringing you more information about Pandora – The World of Avatar over the next few weeks, so make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Over on icFlorida you can check out the video of my first journey to Pandora – The World of Avatar!
Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will want to keep an eye out for an email from Disney Destinations with the opportunity to register to be among the first to explore Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
You’re invited to visit a groundbreaking destination, Pandora—The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Here, you’ll be among the first to experience expeditions where you can fly on the back of a banshee, walk under floating mountains and navigate a mystical Na’vi river.
This world beyond belief awaits you!As this is an early exploration of Pandora—The World of Avatar, please note that access to some areas of the Valley of Mo’ara on Pandora may be limited during your visit. The number of reservations for this event are limited and subject to availability.
Current Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can register themselves and four guest from their Friends & Family List on their My Disney Experience Account to attend a two hour preview of the Valley of Mo’ara starting May 13th.
The preview window is 2 weeks, and there are 3 time slots available per day from 12 pm – 2 pm, 3 pm – 5 pm, and 6 pm -8 pm.
When you are signing up for a slot make sure at no time do you hit the back button, because the system does queue you up and if you hit the back button it could affect your registration process.
Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email, and here’s the fine print:
Passholder In-Park Preview for Pandora – The World of Avatar
All Guests must be Passholders in order to register for a time slot to preview Pandora – The World of Avatar.
Guests may only register for one (1) time slot over the course of the preview period.
If an Annual Passholder would like to register a Guest to accompany them, that Guest must also have a valid annual pass for admission to the event’s theme park location on the date of the event, be listed on your Family & Friends list and have opted to share “All My Plans” with you.
Passholders with confirmed reservations will receive an additional email with details on how to check in for this experience, by May 12, 2017.
All Guests must present their valid annual pass (or linked MagicBand), government issued ID and confirmation page to a Cast Member in order to enter Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park and Pandora – The World of Avatar on the date of your preview.
Availability is subject to change without notice.
Event is subject to cancellation in the event of inclement weather.
Guests must meet appropriate boarding and height requirements for the attractions.
Capacity is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Due to limited capacity, modifications to existing reservations will not be available.
Limit one reservation per Passholder. Reservations are nontransferable and void if sold or otherwise transferred.
Once you have registered, if you have any issues you can call the passholder line at (407) 560-7277. (Just a warning that at the time of publishing this post wait times were almost an hour)
Keep in mind that these emails do go out in waves, so if you haven’t received yours yet be patient!!! While you wait, make sure that all of your family members and friends My Disney Experience accounts are connected to make registration easier!
La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil announces new limited-time Florida Resident Family Pack Offer
Families can now experience the thrills and enchantment of La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs for less with the Florida Resident Family Pack deal, which offers savings up to 57 percent off on groups of three or more tickets for shows now through April 29.
With the discount, a family of four can purchase tickets for as low as $32.25 per ticket for Category 3 seating. Discounted Family Pack tickets are also available for Category 1, Category 2 and Front and Center.
The offer gives families one more reason to see the stimulating show which combines acrobatics, dazzling choreography, vibrant music and whimsical characters.
A door opens and two worlds collide. Enter the attic of make-believe, where the mundane meets the marvelous. Dreams and nightmares intertwine. La Nouba which calls on both individual and collective memory, is an unforgettable journey into a world at once threatening and exhilarating, frightening and familiar. La Nouba beckons to us, challenges us to uncover passions we thought we had lost long ago; to frolic in our childhood dreams and enter a place where the extraordinary transforms and overcomes the ordinary.
La Nouba is the meeting of two worlds poles apart: the fantastic world of the circus artists – the Cirques (circus people), sporting bright, fluorescent colors–and that of the Urbains (urbanites), who wear dark, monochromatic outfits. When these two worlds first make contact, the magic and amazing feats of the one set fire to the pale mundanity of the other.
Proof of Florida residency required. Tickets and seating are subject to availability. Offer is not valid for previously purchased tickets, gift certificates or combined with any other discounts.
For more information about this limited-time Florida Resident Family Pack Offer and more check out their website. Florida residents can also book this offer by calling 407-939-7328 or visiting the La Nouba box office at Disney Springs.
Disney fans mark your calendars for May 27, 2017, because CEO Bob Iger just shared that Pandora – The World of Avatar will open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The long-awaited expansion is the largest in the park’s history, and will bring several attractions, restaurants, & shops to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
The Disney Parks blog posted:
This new land will transport guests to the visually stunning world of Pandora. Here, guests will wonder at floating mountains and bioluminescent plants, and can join the Na’vi on two excursions that take adventure to the next level.
First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests through a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, Avatar Flight of Passage will offer guests the jaw-dropping experience of exploring the world of Pandora atop a Banshee.
Guests will also be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, grab a drink at Pongu Pongu or shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits, and more at Windtraders.
Make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for the latest updates on this and other theme park news!
Sometimes you just want a quiet day in the park. Other times you’re with a theme park newbie or someone who isn’t a fan of rides. For whatever reason, there are times that you find yourself not riding rides, and that’s okay. Some of my favorite attractions past and present are not rides. I thought I’d share a few so if you are touring a theme park with someone who is unable or unwilling to ride, or you just want to experience a park in a different way, here are some of my go to attractions. I’m starting this series with the Magic Kingdom, so enjoy!
Relaxing in the Magic Kingdom
Fantasyland holds one of my favorite things of all, an attraction that typically has a very short wait time, is sitting down, and in air conditioning. This magical show is called Mickey’s PhilharMagic and is a fun 3D film featuring some great songs from Disney movies and that rascal Donald Duck.
A classic in Adventureland that has thankfully been restored to its previous incarnation, is the wonderful Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. This great show exhibits the audio animatronic birds who sing words, and flowers who croon in the tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki room. Again, this is sitting down, and in air conditioning. Are you following a theme here folks?
Now Frontierland holds another classic that was a favorite, then we had a parting of ways, but have since reconciled. The Country Bear Jamboree still has some of the great bear band rhythm, but not as much as it had before, and it made me sad/mad for awhile when the cuts were made, so I may have stayed away for a bit. Time has passed now, and I’ve missed those bears dearly, so again, sitting down, air conditioning, clapping, singing, and Max, Buff, and Melvin.
On Main Street USA it is truly a must to catch the Dapper Dans and listen to a set or two of their a capella harmonies. Often they will even take requests and can be found around the Harmony Barber Shop, which makes sense as they are a barbershop quarter. The Mayor is often hanging around, and if you’re lucky, you may even get one of his super rare business cards. Also on Main Street if you are around for it, you should try to see the Flag Retreat ceremony, but be warned, you will probably need a tissue as they typically honor a veteran guest each day in the Magic Kingdom.
Parades are great ways to enjoy days without rides and see lots of characters without standing in line to see them. You can often find a spot to sit and grab a snack and rest before the parade. While you are waiting for the parade to start, you can people watch, which is another one of my favorite park activities in the Magic Kingdom. You will see people from all over the world, but you may even see someone you know from home. It is funny what a small world it is!
Happy New Year!!! 2016 brought new additions to the theme parks of Central Florida, and 2017 is going to be a year filled with even more new attractions, lands, and restaurants across the board.
I thought a great way to start the year would be to spend the week looking forward to what is coming in 2017 leading up to me sharing my favorite picks this Friday on icFlorida’s Best Bets on WFTV!
So let’s get this new year started by taking a look at what is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort!
While this year will see the long awaited arrival of Pandora: The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the amped up construction of both Star Wars and Toy Story lands at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, there are new shows, attractions, restaurants, and events that will be making their debut at the Walt Disney World Resort!
New In 2017: Walt Disney World Resort
Pandora: The World of Avatar – Summer 2017
Pandora: The World of Avatar will open in this summer, and this land full of fantasy and cutting-edge technology has been created in collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment.
The land will feature two signature attractions, Avatar Flight of Passage that will send guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee and on the Na’vi River Journey this a family-friendly boat ride will take riders through the dramatic Bioluminescent rainforests.
The Satu’li Canteen will be the land’s main dining location while Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner, will help keep visitors fed while they ride and shop for Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders.
Rivers of Light – 2017
This powerful theatrical production takes Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests on a magnificent emotional journey – a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort.
Star Wars Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Spring 2017
An all-new Star Wars Guided Tour is a seven-hour immersion in all current Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Character greetings, themed dining, ride experiences, insider’s tours, dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular are among highlights. Offered Mondays and Saturdays, it’s part of several new Star Wars additions announced in December 2016 for the park, including a new onstage sequence in the daytime experience “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” Star Wars-themed lands are planned for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.
Sky Dine-Around – 2017
The new experience gives guests priority boarding on the monorail for a distinctly Disney dining experience with stops for cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dessert. From a welcome cocktail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, guests call at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (appetizers), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (entree), and back to the Contemporary for dessert, cordials and coffee. This experience will be offered Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Weekends (Friday to Monday) January 13 – February 20
Epcot welcomes an all-new festival playing winter weekends and treating guests to a triple scoop of artful fun. For six colorful weekends visual, culinary, and performing arts will take center stage. Each weekend will feature taste bud-tempting and eye-dazzling creations from the Disney culinary team. Meantime, exciting new art from various media will tempt art lovers. Because the artwork will change out, it’s a new art festival every weekend. In addition, the lagoon-side stage at American Gardens Theatre will pulse with favorite showtunes performed by Broadway talent. In a collaboration with Disney Theatrical, songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows including The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin will be performed.
Miss Fortune Falls – Spring 2017
Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon. Guests gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep sea booty. When it opens, it will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.
Disney Springs – Throughout 2017
New dining establishments will help round out the line-up of dining, shopping, and entertainment at Disney Springs!
Paddlefish – Sleek and modern after a bow-to-stern transformation from the former Fulton’s Crab House, Paddlefish will serve fresh seafood, steaks and chops. Unique menu choices for seafood lovers include a build-your-own boil. A new rooftop lounge will serve up a late-night menu and shipshape views of the water and Disney Springs. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.
Planet Hollywood Observatory – Longtime Downtown Disney-goers will remember the iconic domed restaurant that drew celebrities and fans of the Hollywood scene. The reborn space will be themed to stars of a different kind: a turn-of-the-20th-Century observatory serving up amazing burgers and sandwiches created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and craft cocktails whose names are inspired by the planets and space travel. Movie memorabilia, video screens, contemporary music and themed merchandise complete the scene.
The Polite Pig – A sister restaurant to the Ravenous Pig, a favorite with Orlando locals, The Polite Pig will bring the same focus on genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience at Disney Springs. Lunch and dinner menus will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including beer, wine and cocktails.
Wine Bar George – Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes uncorks his first Disney wine bar in a space reminiscent of a winemaker’s estate warmed by oak wood and cozy lighting. Small plates dominate the food menu but it will be the wines with a starring role: more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals and vintages.
New Cabins and Deluxe Villas coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – 2017
A proposed new Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is scheduled to open, featuring new Resort accommodations that include plans for Deluxe Villas and unique waterfront cabins. Other enhancements coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is also scheduled to open in summer 2017. Named Boulder Ridge Cove, this area will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool.
Make sure you follow @onthegoinmco on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to keep up with the latest news and our visits to Walt Disney World!
Rogue One Experiences Coming To Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Last night the Disney Parks Blog hosted local media and 400 readers as they transformed Epcot’s Spaceship Earth into the Death Star and announced new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story experiences coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios!
First off, can we talk about how cool Spaceship Earth looked as the Death Star! Now the pictures don’t do it justice, but it was a fun temporary backdrop to the announcements.
Michael Roddy, Show Director/Writer with Disney Creative Entertainment, was on hand to talk us through all the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that guests can enjoy before the end of the year.
Star Wars Launch Bay – a multi-sensory space celebrating all things Star Wars – is now updated with authentic replicas from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” joining other Star Wars memorabilia in the preview gallery. Making-of footage from “Rogue One” has been added to the “Meet the Makers” film featured in Star Wars Launch Bay.
In the popular daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” guests will get a first look at AWR Troopers from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Outfitted in their specialized Stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam, these soldiers serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic, a highly placed officer within the Advance Weapons Research (AWR) division of the Empire. A new Troopers sequence will join the show Dec. 16. Performances daily.
The fan favorite nighttime show, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 and will join “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park through Dec. 31. The show will continue to be presented in 2017.
Starting mid-December, randomized tracks will be returning to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue, the popular attraction that uses motion simulator-based technology. Instead of each ride experience launching from the planet of Jakku, the attraction will be randomized to both start and end at different locations for every galactic journey. New scenes from “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be added to Star Tours in the coming year.
But what’s more intriguing is an all-new Star Wars guided tour is a seven-hour immersion in all the park’s current Star Wars experiences that will begin on January 2, 2017 (offered on Mondays and Sundays throughout the year) that will include:
A Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide
Priority boarding for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Encounter two Star Wars characters (Chewbacca and Kylo Ren) at Star Wars Launch Bay
An in-depth, insider’s tour around Star Wars Launch Bay
Screening of “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi”
Enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items during dinner at Backlot Express
A spot in the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes themed sweets and specialty beverages, as well as reserved viewing for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show
Younglings ages 4-12 on the guided tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.
The price point for the tour is $129 per person, plus tax, which seems reasonable for all those activities and can be booked ‘soon’.
Also on hand was Mads Mikkelsen, Galen Erso in the film, was on hand to share a never before scene from Rogue One. And while that clip isn’t available yet, you can watch new clips!
Watch as Director Gareth Edwards and Creature Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan offer a behind-the-scenes peek at the creatures of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "Creature Featurette"
And the new ‘Worth It’ TV Spot…Hope begins with them…
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "Worth It" TV Spot (:30)
A stroll down the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs
This holiday season Disney has added a few new entertainment options to Disney Springs. One of them, the Christmas Tree Trail, debuted this past weekend. When the Disney Parks Blog first made the announcement, I was definitely looking forward to it. The description reminded me of the trees that used decorate the Camp Minnie Mickey area of Animal Kingdom before it was closed to make way for Avatar.
The new Christmas Tree Trail is located at the old Marketplace bus depot and you enter in between Once Upon a Toy and Earl of Sandwich. There’s a DJ set up in the area, along with the large Christmas tree that they light every evening at 6:00PM.
We decided to walk the trail twice, before and after it got dark. During the day, it is much less crowded and easier to see some of the details on the trees. The snow machines run at night and of course the twinkle lights make it a bit more festive. My photos came out much better during the day too so that’s what you’ll mostly see here.
There are 15 trees and each one has a different Disney theme. The decorations went beyond just covering the tree in the characters. Some of them you even had to think about a little bit (like a spoonful of sugar on the Mary Poppins tree). It really reminded me of a hometown festival of trees.
Mickey & Minnie
Beauty and the Beast
The Little Mermaid
The Princess and the Frog
The Jungle Book
Alice in Wonderland
The trail a nice holiday addition that fits with the hometown feel of Disney Springs. I hope they keep the tree trail for future years and even improve upon it. The area has a lot of space to add even more Christmas lights and decorations. Maybe even add some more activities. Have you visited the tree trail? Which tree is your favorite?
This November Walt Disney World is kicking off the holiday season with the debut of new shows, experiences, and a new restaurant! It’s going to be an awesome month to be in Orlando!
At the Magic Kingdom, the Christmas Tree and wreaths are up as they prepare for the influx of holiday visitors.
Returning this year, each night Cinderella Castle turns into a beautiful ice palace thanks to the help from Elsa, Anna, and some of their Frozen friends during ‘A Frozen Holiday Wish’ castle lighting.
The new ‘Once Upon A Time’ debuted on November 4th, and this new nightly projection show is partially inspired by the Tokyo Disneyland Park uses projection mapping to transform Cinderella Castle with familiar scenes from Disney movies. During the show, Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast shares bedtime stories with young Chip, taking a journey through the most adventurous scenes from Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and other favorites along the way.
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is under way on select nights until December 22nd with new holiday treats and shows. This after-hours party gives guests a chance to experience exclusive entertainment, character meet and greets, fireworks, and a parade full of holiday cheer and fun while enjoying holiday drinks & treats under the gentle falling of Florida ‘snow’.
As Disney Springs continues to grow, so does their holiday offerings!
Beginning November 11th in the Disney Springs Marketplace, 15 Christmas Trees inspired by Disney characters and movies will create a winter wonderland walk-through experience complete with a gentle snow fall, toy soldiers, singers, and plenty of unique photo opportunities! I can’t wait to see the Disney Villains and Mary Poppins Christmas Trees!
Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog shared a peek at a new nighttime holiday experience coming that looks like it is going to be awesome!!!
First Look: A New Holiday Experience Coming to Disney Springs
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, a new restaurant and nighttime holiday show join the park’s line-up of fun!
A new projection and fireworks show called ‘Jingle Bell Jingle Bam’ lights up, on, above, and around the Chinese Theater area of the park with state-of-the-art projections, special effects, fireworks and a rousing seasonal musical score starting November 14th.
Led by elves Wayne and Lanny, the duo from ABC/Walt Disney Animation Studios’ animated special Prep & Landing, the spirited yuletide adventure to the North Pole features memorable holiday moments from Disney films including Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, Bambi, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, along with many other holiday favorites with a festive finale that’s “So tinsel”.
Fans of the The Muppets will get a chance to dine with Pizzerizzo set to open on November 18th! The quick service restaurant will offer a variety of personal-sized pizzas, salads, sandwiches, and desserts surrounded by décor inspired by Rizzo, as well as his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years. Upstairs you will find Rizzo’s Deluxe Supreme Banquet Hall, where there’s a wedding reception already in progress complete with a disco ball dance party playing the world’s greatest party playlist!
And finally at Epcot, beginning November 25th you can celebrate the ‘Holidays Around the World’.
Photo: Walt Disney World
During the day, you can discover how the 11 countries making up the World Showcase celebrate the holiday season with costumed storytellers, decorations, music, and seasonal food favorites.
Then in the evenings hear a celebrity guest narrator tell the biblical story of Christmas alongside of a 50 piece orchestra and variety of choirs. The story, the music, the twinkling trees and decor fills you with the spirit of this wonderful season. And you can catch the performances at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at the American Gardens Theatre.
If you aren’t vegan and are curious about giving a vegan dish a try, this is the small plate for you! These ‘nachos’ are fresh and light, and so tasty that you won’t find yourself missing the dairy or meat.
Greenhouse Guru hosted by Village Farms – NEW
Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-Roasted Salsa (Gluten Free)
$5.25 Disney Dining Plan Snack
I am not a fan of duck. I’ve tried it a thousand ways (okay maybe I am being dramatic here), and it just has never been my favorite. I will say that this duck isn’t as gamey as I have had in the past, and the fire-roasted salsa does a great job cutting the fattiness of the meat. I’d definitely eat it again…which is saying a lot!
Hops & Barley – NEW
Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese Served on Griddled Garlic Toast
$5.25 Disney Dining Plan Snack
If there was a ever a dish that screamed ‘Shelley’ it would be this one, as it is everything I love in one place! It is a heavier dish that you might want to save until later in the day.
Islands of the Caribbean – NEW
Quesito – Puff Pastry with Sweetened Cream Cheese and Guava Sauce (Vegetarian)
$3.75 Disney Dining Plan Snack
Dear Quesito, I know we just met…but I think I love you! XOXO Shelley
This is the PERFECT dessert in my opinion! The slightly salty cheese plays against the sweet guava sauce creating amazing layers of flavors. My only complaint is that it is too small and I want to eat like 20 of them!
Wine & Dine Studio – NEW
Seared Scallop, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms featuring Melissa’s Produce
$5.50 Disney Dining Plan Snack
This might be my favorite dish of the luncheon. The scallop and celery root purée are slightly sweet and the brussels sprouts and wild mushrooms are a touch bitter with a bite creating a dance of flavors and textures. It was delicious!
Wine & Dine Studio
Trio of Artisan Cheese (Vegetarian)
La Bonne Vie Goat Cheese served with toasted Craisin Bread
Karst Cave-aged Cheddar Cheese served with Fig Compote
Statesboro Blue Cheese served with Spiced Candied Walnuts
$5.00 Disney Dining Plan Snack
Can you go wrong with a trio of artisan cheeses and accompaniments? I don’t think so! These three offerings are familiar pairings…but if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!
I’m looking forward to getting out and trying more dishes at this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival, and I would love to hear what some of your favorite dishes are to try!