There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort. Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Walt Disney World! This week features several Disney food and beverage changes and the grand opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
New! Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is Officially Open: Beginning , May 28, 2014, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is officially open. Guests have been able to book Fastpass+ for this attraction since May 2 when the grand opening date was announced, and now they can redeem them! The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train started operating in “soft opening” or “dress rehersal” on May 23 during the 24-Hour Rock Your Disney Side party. Though “dress rehearsal” means the ride could be shut down at any time, it ran through the entire event. There were a few times in the days that followed where the ride was closed for a short time, but operations have been very smooth. The attraction is fantastic!
New! Tinker Bell Moved to Town Square Theater: On May 20, Tinker Bell moved from Adventureland to Main Street, U.S.A., where Guests will discover a portal to Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook inside Town Square Theater. As Guests enter the new Garden Theater at Town Square Theater, they will magically shrink down to the size of a fairy and step inside Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook, where they’ll join Tinker Bell in a beautiful, natural setting filled with a collection of her treasures from the mainland. Disney FastPass+ service will be available for this experience at Town Square Theater, as well as for the opportunity to meet Mickey Mouse.
New! Friar’s Nook Open for Breakfast at Magic Kingdom: With the opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the continued popularity of Princess Fairytale Hall, it seems Magic Kingdom needed another breakfast option in Fantasyland. Friar’s Nook is now open for breakfast to Guests. The location will start serving breakfast at park open (8 a.m. on days with Extra Magic Hours in the morning). Menu offerings include French toast sticks and a Breakfast Sausage Dog (two links of sausage, scrambled eggs, topped with cheese and bacon all on a hot dog bun). Breakfast will be served until 11 a.m., before switching to the lunch menu.
New! Food and Beverage Offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: First, Cornivores and Drinkwallah has introduced two new cocktails to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. These adult beverages include: “Carnival Cocktail”, a brightly-colored concoction of rum, lemonade and blue cotton candy (Available at Cornivores) and “Coconut-Lychee Lemonade”, a refreshing libation containing coconut rum, lychee and lemonade (Available at Drinkwallah). During Memorial Day weekend, Tamu-Tamu refreshments was testing a Pineapple Whip offering with and without alcohol. It’s not certain if this offer will continue past May 27th, the planned end of the test. Finally, starting Saturday, May 24, Guests may now order souvenir drinkware exclusive to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Over at Harambe Popcorn and Upcountry Landing, when Guests purchase select drinks, they may also purchase a
special “Musical Tumbler” that comes with an ocarina as its handle. The ocarina is a wind-instrument (like a flute), and the special tumblers come with instructions on how to play some classic Disney Songs. At Dawa Bar and Upcountry Landing, Guests may purchase a special African mask tumbler with select cocktails. This tall cup features spirited homages to the carved masks and shields of African tribes.
New! Kiosks Now Open at Downtown Disney: Wetzel’s Pretzels and Häagen-Dazs kiosks are now open between DisneyQuest and Cirque du Soleil. Wetzel’s Pretzels and Häagen-Dazs are open: Monday-Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 11 p.m, and Saturday-Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – midnight Over in the Marketplace, you can grab a cup of your favorite coffee – with a brand-new Starbucks kiosk open now and everyday 8 a.m. – midnight.
New! More Details Released about 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Favorites like the waterfront marketplaces, Eat to the Beat Concerts, Party for the Senses and more will be back this year, but new additions will appear as well. One new event is a Sunday morning event called “Sunday Mornings With …” that will be a plated brunch with a noted pastry chef or baker crafting three fabulous desserts for guests.
What else is new for 2014?
- Patagonia Marketplace will merge the flavors of Argentina and Chile in dishes like sustainable roasted Verlasso salmon with quinoa salad drizzled with a kicky arugula chimichurri. You can pair that with a couple of great Chilean wines: Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier or Cono Sur Bicicleta Pinot Noir Rosé.
- Farm Fresh Market replaces last year’s Florida Local Marketplace, with a perfect “brinner” (breakfast for dinner) dish: “Bacon and Eggs,” with applewood-smoked, pepper-coated bacon, sweet corn, potatoes, Hollandaise and pickled jalapeños. Or try the griddled “yard bird” (chicken) with braised greens. Happy to see Orlando Brewing Company’s I-4IPA on the menu, as well as trendy Ba Ba Black Lager from Salt Lake City’s Uinta Brewing Company.
- Brazil Marketplace is back with that wildly popular crispy pork belly with black beans, onions, avocado and cilantro, but chefs also are adding mocequa de pescado (tilapia with coconut lime sauce and steamed rice), pao de queijo (Brazilian cheese bread) and cocadas (Brazilian coconut candy).
- The Poland Marketplace switches up the popular pierogi with a new sauerkraut pierogi and pork goulash.
New! New Fittipaldi Cup at Walt Disney World Speedway: Richard Petty Driving Experience and Exotic Driving Experience have come up with a new special event. They are calling it the Fittipaldi Cup, a fun racing event on June 13 hosted by professional racer Christian Fittipaldi but designed for any driver (must have a valid driver’s license) with an itch to test their driving skills against the competition. Drivers will compete in various racing sessions involving supercars – Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, etc. – used in the track’s Exotic Driving Experience, as well as great American muscle cars, such as a Chevrolet Camaro, and high-performance go-karts. If you want to see how you stack up against the competition, drivers can sign up at http://www.exoticdriving.com/offers/vip/ or by calling (855) 822-0149. Entry is $999 and includes several souvenirs such as an in-car video of your performance and a photo plaque. And, for one talented driver anyway, a pretty cool trophy and a ton of bragging rights.
New! Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae Available in Magic Kingdom: At Plaza Ice Cream Parlor and Plaza Restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A, you’ll find Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae in an adorable “sink” in the shape of Mickey’s red pants. Get ready to share – it’s hand-scooped chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream drizzled with hot fudge, strawberry and caramel topping and topped with chocolate and peanut butter chips, whipped cream, and, of course, a cherry or two. Grab a few spoons and dig in! Cost is $14.99 and it’s not on the Disney Dining Plan.
New! Harambe Nights Menu Revealed: The countdown has begun to Harambe Nights Street Party, kicking off June 7 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom – a spectacular nighttime addition in the park’s Harambe Village. With a never-before-seen performance in the new Harambe Theatre of “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” that includes a live orchestra and choir, dancers, lots of drama, celebrity guest narrators and an incredible culinary experience. Guests will nosh on appetizers like Moroccan beef kefta with tamarind glaze, pickled fennel paneer cheese with tomato, Durban-spiced chicken bites and a safari cheeseburger slider with tomato curry aiol paired with African-inspired wine and beer. The full menu was released on the Disney Parks Blog.
Reminder! Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade Ends May 31: Due to the expansion of Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle parade will be discontinued May 31, 2014. No parade is planned to replace this one because viewing space will be reduced by the creation of the Pandora-themed land and it no longer makes sense to offer a parade.
Reminder! 2014 “Star Wars” Weekends Continue Through June 15: “Star Wars” Weekends has finally arrived! Starting Friday, May 16 and continuing for the next four weekends, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Guests can see celebrities from the films and television series and enjoy special shows and panels at various locations in the park. Returning this year are the shows: Behind the Force: “Star Wars Rebels”, Stars of the Saga and Obi-Wan and Beyond starring James Arnold Taylor. Also returning this year are “Legends of the Force” Motorcade and Celebrity Welcome, Padawan Mind Challenge and DJ Lobot Dance Party. New this year will be nightly “Symphony in the Sky” fireworks and the dining and experience options we mentioned previously. The celebrity host this year is James Arnold Taylor along with co-host Ashley Eckstein. The celebrity guests for Weekend III are James Arnold Taylor, Ashley Eckstein, Ray Park (Darth Maul) and Taylor Gray (Voice behind Ezra Bridger in “Star Wars” Rebels).
Reminder! “Star Wars” Cupcakes Available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Beginning Friday, May 16, a Darth Vader cupcake and a Yoda cupcake will be available for Guests to purchase during “Star Wars” Weekends at select locations around Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you are a chocolate lover, a peanut butter lover, or both, you will definitely be tempted to join the dark side with our Darth Vader cupcake. This treat will be arriving at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for $5.19 at select quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., Rosie’s All American Café, and Darth’s Mall. The amazing-looking Yoda cupcake will be also available for “Star Wars” Weekends and will be sold at Backlot Express, Starring Rolls Café and Darth’s Mall only. Both are part of the Disney Dining Plan and will be available May 16 – June 15.
Reminder! Grand Floridian Rooms Under Refurbishment: Guest rooms and buildings throughout Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa have been under refurbishment since early January and the project is scheduled to complete in August. Guest buildings will be taken out of inventory and will not be occupied by Guests while work is being performed. Next building to start refurb is Sugar Loaf – Jun 1.
Reminder + New! Disney Announces Changes to Disney’s Polynesian Resort: In early May, several changes to Disney’s Polynesian Resort were announced. As part of a complete re-imagining, the resort is returning to its original, 1971 opening day name: Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The sweeping renovation is currently underway and will include a new food and beverage experience opening next year, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. Additionally, concept photos confirmed the long-standing rumor that the waterfall in the Great Ceremonial House will be removed. On May 15, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney World Resort Operations and Transportation Operations Tom Wolber and Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Development Executive Debbie Petersen shared more information about enhancements underway at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Extensive enhancements are planned for the Nanea Volcano Pool area, including addition of a hot tub, children’s water play area and increased poolside area. As part of the refurbishment, the pool area is expected to close in late July 2014 and reopen in 2015. A Dole Whip kiosk, Pineapple Lanai, is slated to open in late summer, providing Guests with a grab-and-go location for the popular soft-serve treat. Finally, Club Disney, a reimagined Children’s Activity Center located in the Tangeroa Terrace building of the resort will debut on June 16. Inspired by classic Disney Little Golden Book stories, the center features supervised crafts, games, and play areas that will transport children into the stories of “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Peter Pan,” “Pinocchio” and “Winnie the Pooh.” Reservations are now available by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
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.