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 update features: changes to Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet, new shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, monorail schedule changes, many refurbishments and lots more!
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
New! Changes to Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet at Princess Fairytale Hall: The Princess Fairytale Hall attraction has two separate queues. One side is home to Rapunzel and Cinderella. The second (separate) queue is dedicated to Anna and Elsa. The Anna and Elsa side used to also include a meet with Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, but she is no longer available to meet there. You can still make FastPass+ reservations to meet Anna and Elsa, and both sisters are still in one room, so guests can meet them one right after the other.
New! Tomorrowland Refurbishments at Magic Kingdom park: Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and The Lunching Pad are under major. There are many construction walls in the area and two attractions are closed. Refurbishment Dates are: Astro Orbiter (June 2-Sept. 19), Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (June 2-Aug. 4), and The Lunching Pad will have limited serving window capacity (June 2-Aug. 1).
New! Macaw Experience now Being Performed Daily at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: “Winged Encounters—The Kingdom Takes Flight,” a new animal experience with flocks of macaws flying over and around Discovery Island, is being performed daily at 9:15 and 10:15 a.m., as well as 1 and 2 p.m. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Because the birds are still training and learning their flight pattern, shows are subject to change. There are six types of macaws in the experience: hyacinth, green-winged, blue and gold, scarlet, bluethroated and military. The macaws, with wingspans of up to 60 inches, fly over Discovery Island and land on a perch near the DinoLand U.S.A. bridge. During the up-close encounters, avian experts share conservation stories about the macaws, the majority of which are endangered in their native Central and South America.
New! ‘It All Started With a Mouse’ at the New Animal Experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: “It All Started with a Mouse,” is located at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and makes a great addition to the itineraries of animal lovers of all ages. During the show, Conservation Station’s “animal ambassadors,” including sheep, parrots, porcupines, birds of prey and Kunekune pigs help tell stories and make appearances in, around, and even above the audience, as the cast members share natural history fun facts, conservation messages and inspiring (and fun) calls-to-action. After the show, guests have an exclusive opportunity to meet and talk to some of the stars of the show and are encouraged to capture once-in-a-lifetime memories with plenty of photographs.
New! Harambe Nights Events Selling Out: Premium Seating for Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is officially SOLD OUT for all event dates. General seating is also SOLD OUT for the Saturday, June 21 & 28, 2014, event. Currently, General Seating is still available for all other remaining Harambe Nights dates. As a reminder, here’s a description of the event: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will host Harambe Nights every Saturday evening June 7-August 9. The event will kick off at 7:00pm with a welcome reception followed by a 7:30pm concert in the new Harambe Theater where iconic scenes from The Lion King film will be recreated while a celebrity narrator and a live orchestra, choir and dancers provide a never-before-seen take on The Lion King tale. The celebration will continue after the concert on the streets of Harambe with food, exclusive merchandise and an opportunity to “Go Wild” and dance and interact with live performers.
New! Disney’s Hollywood Studios Serving Summer Cupcake: Now through August 31, Guests can indulge in a new summer cupcake at select locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The cupcake flavor is strawberry and cream and is available for $5.19. This treat is part of the Disney Dining Plan and can be purchased at: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., and Rosie’s All American Café.
New! Disney’s Hollywood Studios L.A. Prop Shop Under Refurbishment: The souvenir shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd (The L.A. Prop Shop) is closed for refurbishment now through Feb 2015.
New! Disney’s Hollywood Studios Character Embroidery at Head to Toe Shop Temporarily Unavailable: Character embroidery at the Head to Toe shop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be unavailable beginning Monday, June 16 through August 2014. During this time, Guests will not be able to order characters/names on towels. Ear hat embroidery will remain available.
Reminder! New Villains Unleashed Event Announced for August 23, 2014: A brand new special event will take place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Aug 23, 2014 8pm -1am — Villains Unleashed! Beware the power of evil as many of your favorite Disney villains run wild in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special after-hours night of mischief and mayhem capped off with a wicked fireworks spectacular! Tickets are on sale now, $67 (adults) and $62 (ages 3-9) + tax. This week, Disney Parks Blog announced a partial list of the villains who will be in attendance, which included several rare characters like Hades, J. Worthington Foulfellow, Gideon, Big Bad Wolf and Star Wars villains like Boba Fett, Asajj Ventress and Emperor Palpatine!
Reminder! Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Runs Thru July 26: Nothing sounds more like summer than the rockin’ tunes from some of the most iconic rock bands of all time! From June 8 to July 26, seven bands pay tribute to the hottest rock acts at the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot. Shows are at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. – except on July 4 when show times are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. The lineup is as follows
- June 15-21 – DSB – A Tribute to Journey
- June 22-28 – Good Vibrations – A Tribute to the Beach Boys
- June 29-July 5 – Don’t Look Back – A Boston Tribute Band
- July 6-12 -Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees
- July 13-19 – Slippery When Wet – The Ultimate Bon Jovi Tribute
- July 20-26 – 2U – A Tribute to U2
Walt Disney World Resorts
New! The Garden View Tea Room Closed for Refurbishment: The Garden View Tea Room will be undergoing refurbishments June 30-Aug. 29. During this timeframe, the My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea Party seating time will be 10 a.m., and Afternoon Tea seating will begin at 12:45 p.m., with last-seating at 1:30 p.m. During refurbishment, these experiences will be held in Cítricos restaurant.
New! Children’s Activity Center Prices Increase: Effective June 16, 2014, the price per child per hour at Children’s Activity Centers at the Walt Disney World Resort will increase to $15, with a two-hour minimum per child. Locations include Club Disney at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Cub’s Den at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Sandcastle Club at Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Simba’s Cubhouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. At Children’s Activity Centers, children will enjoy supervised activities such as dress up, crafts, and storytelling while parents explore grown-up adventures at the Walt Disney World Resort.
New! Club Disney Opens at Disney’s Polynesian Resort: Young Guests can discover favorite Disney stories in a new way at Club Disney at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. This new children’s activity center is inspired by classic Disney Little Golden Books such as Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp and Alice in Wonderland. Imagination runs wild as timeless tales unfold in storybook-themed play areas. Young Guests will enjoy activities including storytelling, movies, crafts, dress-up and more while parents enjoy a night out at the Walt Disney World Resort. Reservations are now available for kids ages 3-12.
New! Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Silver Creek Springs Pool to Close for Refurbishment: The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. During this time, the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will remain open. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit either the Main Pool at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Complimentary transportation will be provided to both of these neighboring resorts.
New! Disney’s Polynesian Resort Pool to Close for Refurbishment: The main pool and slide (Nanea Volcano Pool and Slide) will be closed for enhancements July 26, 2014 through early 2015. Guests who stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort while the main pool is closed will receive one complimentary ticket for each member of their party to visit Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park during their stay.
Reminder! Walkway from TTC to Disney’s Polynesian Resort Closed: To accommodate renovations at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, the existing sidewalk between the resort and the Transportation and Ticket Center will be closed. Beginning June 10, pedestrians will be directed to use a different path between the two locations. This change comes in addition to significant construction and refurbishment activities at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.
New! Roof Refurbishments at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: Roof construction on building 90 is underway at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. Construction is estimated to continue through the mid-July.
Reminder! Arcade Enhancement at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside: The Medicine Show Arcade at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside now offers a prize hub for Guests. Several games have the ability to add e-tickets to our Guests’ arcade cards after they play the game. Guests are able to collect as many e-tickets as possible, and they can redeem their e-tickets for prizes by scanning their arcade card at the prize hub. Each redemption game will have a yellow label if it is eligible for the prize hub.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! Monorail Hours Temporarily Adjusted: If you are visiting Walt Disney World on or after June 22, you should know the monorail service will have reduced hours to accommodate enhancement work. Monorail service will run:
- 8:30 a.m.-midnight on the Magic Kingdom Resort beam
- 9:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. on the Magic Kingdom Express beam
- 9 a.m.-11 p.m. on the Epcot beam
Watercraft and additional buses will be available to Guests. No end date has been provided for this temporary change.
Reminder! Watch World Cup Games from Walt Disney World: The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicks off June 12, and everyone is getting into the spirit. If you’re visiting Walt Disney World during the World Cup and wish to catch a game, you can catch it at these on-property viewing locations:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort – Silver Screen Spirits Pool Bar and World Premiere Food Court
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort – Intermission Food Court and Singing Spirits Pool Bar
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – End Zone Food Court and Grandstand Spirits Pool Bar
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Sanaa Lounge, Maji Pool Bar and Uzima Springs Pool Bar
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort – Martha’s Vineyard
- Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Banana Cabana Pool Bar
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – The Wave … of American Flavors
- The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort – Crockett’s Tavern
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort – Gurgling Suitcase
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort – Tambu Lounge and Barefoot Pool Bar
- Disney’s Pop Century Resort – Everything POP Shopping & Dining
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside – River Roost
- Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter – Scat Cat’s Club
You can also follow along with the World Cup at Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Odyssey at Epcot, as well as ESPN Club and Big River Grille & Brewing Works at Disney’s BoardWalk!
New! Trucks on the Town Food Truck Event at Downtown Disney: The Trucks on the Town food truck event at Downtown Disney West Side will take place June 21, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Indulge in the tastiest fare from 14 unique vendors – empanadas, barbecue, gator bites, seafood, sandwiches, tacos, cupcakes and more – there’s something for everyone! Plus, it’s your chance to purchase brand-new menu items from the Disney Food Trucks…all while listening to the sounds of a family-friendly DJ!
New! New Clowns Bring Big Laughs to ‘La Nouba’ by Cirque du Soleil: Two new clowns perform in the Downtown Disney Cirque du Soleil show. Both named Pablo, the “Orange Pablo”and the “Purple Pablo.” According to the Disney Parks Blog, when they were asked how their performance differs from other clown acts…”They talked about their great respect for Balto and Sergey, their “La Nouba” predecessors, and they also acknowledged their take was much different. “They were like jazz. We’re more ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ with a very fast rhythm. We’re like two kids mocking each other.”
Reminder! Evening Shuttle Test from Downtown Disney West Side: Shuttle vans will be available midnight-1:45 a.m.to transport Guests to the Marketplace bus loop, which services Walt Disney World Resort Guests until 2 a.m. Vans will leave from the OPQ lot at the end of the West Side promenade behind Cirque du Soleil.
Reminder! Check Quick Service Receipts for Coupons: Guests who visit certain quick-service dining locations in Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort theme parks June 10 through July 14 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 June 10 and July 15.
Reminder: New! Richard Petty Debuts Piston Cup Junior Ride-Along Cars June 14: Two vehicles from the “Cars” franchise, Aiken Axler and Sage VanDerSpin, are about to make their debut at the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Resort as a part of the new Junior Ride-Along program. In it, children ages 6 to 13 (and at least 48 inches tall) will have the chance to experience real-life racing excitement as they ride shotgun with a professional driving instructor for three thrilling laps in a specially equipped Piston Cup race car. Junior Ride-Alongs do not require reservations and are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Find more, visitDrivepetty.com or call 800-237-3889.
- June 12 – 22: Find the latest releases from Precious Moments doll designer and artist Linda Rick at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Add to your collection and meet representatives June 12 – 22 and June 26 – July 7. Look for a special appearance by Linda throughout the day, each day, June 12 – 15 and July 3 – 6.
- June 18 – 22: Artist Greg McCullough returns to Art of Disney in Epcot.
- June 20 – July 3: Artist David E. Doss will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Stop in and find a new piece of art to add to your collection!
- June 21: Stop by Animation Gallery inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the limited edition release of “Studio Flashback” featuring Oswald, and meet the artists from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.. Can’t make it to the event?
- June 26 – 29: Look for special appearances by artist Larry Dotson throughout the day at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park
- June 28: Now, all the world is Figment’s stage! To celebrate the launch of the new, limited edition figurine, Figment Actor, sculptor Jacqueline Perrault will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 3 to 4 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot. Unable to make it? Take advantage of a special pre-purchase opportunity now through June 27. Also appearing for a special artist signing will be Kevin-John from 1 – 3 p.m.
Written by Lori Wall: Lori is a lifelong fan and visitor of Walt Disney World! Her love of Disney World has grown through visits with her own family as well as through planning magical vacations for others! Lori is an expert in maximizing vacations while sticking to a travel budget. Contact her about saving an extra 5% off your Disney vacation with an insider tip! Book your vacation with Lori at (845) 698- 0102 or request a price online.