What’s New This Week?
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! 2016 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Dates Announced: This year there are 21 nights of festive fun at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Tickets will be available for purchase later this spring for the following event dates:
- November 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 27, 29
- December 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 22
Reminder! Disney After Hours Kicks Off This Week: Disney After Hours, a special, ticketed event at Magic Kingdom Park, takes place on select nights throughout April and May with the first event kicking off Thursday, April 14. Available to a select number of Guests, the event will enable participants to enjoy more magic in less time at Magic Kingdom, with a shorter than typical wait time for popular attractions and character greetings. Ice cream novelties and bottled beverages are also included during the three hour event. This event will take place three more hours after the park closes on the following dates: April 14, 21 and 28 and May 5, 8, 12 and 19. Tickets are $149 + tax.
Reminder! Temporary Changes to Parades and Shows: Some Magic Kingdom entertainment offerings will be impacted certain dates throughout spring. The Main Street Trolley Show and Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play it! will be adjusted April 20 and 25 and May 16, 19, 23, 26 and 31. On these dates and Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play it! will be presented at 12:30 and 5:40. Additionally, the Main Street Trolley show will use an alternate vehicle April 4-23.
Reminder! 2016 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Under Way: From March 2-May 30, take time to stop and smell the flowers at Epcot – and while you’re here, try delicious fresh foods, rock out with classic bands and dig in to all that the Flower & Garden Festival has to offer! With new topiaries, Outdoor Kitchens, experiences for kids and more, there’s always something to discover. Upcoming Garden Rocks concerts include:
- April 15-17 – NEW! Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
- April 22-24 – NEW! Bad Company, former lead singer BRIAN HOWE “Can’t Get Enough”
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Reminder! New Star Wars Entertainment New Open: Disney’s Hollywood Studios has unveiled even moreStar Wars-themed entertainment! April 4 brought the arrival of the new Star Wars live entertainment experience Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away (a stage show) and a menacing First Order stormtrooper procession lead by Captain Phasma. Later this summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is launching a new nightly fireworks and projection show called Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular that will light up the sky withStar Wars-themed fireworks, lasers, light projections and other special effects combined with Star Wars-themed music and iconic characters and scenes from throughout the saga. The show will be punctuated with a tower of fire and spotlight beams, creating massive lightsabers in the sky. This new show will be the most elaborate fireworks display to take place in the history of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Reminder! Update on Nighttime Experiences: The new Rivers of Light show and Nighttime Magic at the Tree of Life were previously announced to have an opening date of April 22. Disney announced this week that the openings will not take place on that dates as scheduled. The Disney Parks Blog indicated they will share more information about timing on the Disney Parks Blog by mid- to late May.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Ample Hills Creamery Opening This Spring at BoardWalk Inn and Villas: In honor of the 20th anniversary of Disney’s BoardWalk Inn & Villas, we are enhancing the charm of this turn-of-the-century resort with even more unique venues, including a new take on the old-fashioned ice cream parlor opening this spring. Ample Hills Creamery, a Brooklyn-based company known for their creative approach to all things ice cream, will open its first location outside of New York City featuring their signature products, including a one-of-a-kind flavor exclusive to the Walt Disney World Resort. Guests will stroll the promenade enjoying unique flavors such as Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, Malty Salty Pretzel Punch and Coffee Toffee Coffee. Stay tuned for more details leading up to the opening of Ample Hills Creamery at Disney’s BoardWalk.
New! Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kilimanjaro Club Refurbishment: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Kilimanjaro Club will be under refurbishment from May 2 through May 22. While this refurbishment work is underway, Guests are invited to enjoy Club Level services in a temporary Kilimanjaro Club location. Front Desk Cast Members can provide additional information or assistance if needed.
New! Change to Operating Hours at Senses – A Disney Spa: The Senses – A Disney Spa locations are now available 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Guests may book reservations by calling 407-WDW-SPA.
New! Afternoon Tea Returns to Disney’s Beach Club Resort: Returning April 14-17, Guests can once again enjoy Afternoon Tea at Disney’s Beach Club Resort in the Crescent Solarium. The tranquil, comfortable solarium overlooking Crescent Gardens provides an elegant setting for Guests to enjoy classic afternoon tea, savories and sweets, such as house-made scones, petite sandwiches, and pastries. A variety of alcoholic beverages will also be available. Afternoon Tea will be served from 1-5 p.m. and Guests can make reservations at waltdisneyworld.com or by calling 407-WDW-DINE. Future Afternoon Tea dates include: May 5-8, June 16-19, July 1-4, August 11-14, and Sept. 1-5.
New! New Aquatic Play Area Opens at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter: There’s a new space at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter that’s just for little ones who like to splash around and stay cool. Decked out in the bold hues of Mardi Gras gold, purple and green, this new aquatic play area lets guests 48 inches and under enjoy water slides that are just their size, play with fun water cannons, and splish-splash among fountains.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! Fastpass+ Enhancements: As of April 10, Guests will notice enhancements to how they makeFastPass+ selections.
- Guests will now be able to choose individual FastPass+ experiences and times, and will no longer need to make all selections for the same day at the same time.
- While Guests continue to be able to select up to three experiences in advance, they now will be able to book fewer than three selections, if desired.
In addition, Guests who have used their first three FastPass+ selections will now be able to make an additional FastPass+ selection via the My Disney Experience mobile app, in addition to in-park kiosks. Once they’ve used the fourth, Guests will be able to select another, and so on.
New! Night of Joy at Walt Disney World 2016: Tickets On Sale Now: This year, Night of Joy guests will have more options than ever with two nights of Contemporary Christian music, ample seating at indoor and outdoor venues, amazing performances on multiple stages, including Champion Stadium, and opportunities for fellowship and fun. We also have ticket options that allow you to maximize your park time doing rides and then maximize your concerts and time together at night – plus you pick your park! Here are the details:
- A single-night, concert only ticket for Friday, September 9 – $39 plus tax (in advance); $45 the day of the show (if available).
- A single-night concert and one-day Disney theme park ticket (valid for one of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks) for Saturday, September 10 – $99 plus tax (in advance); $114 plus tax the day of the show (if available).*
- A two-night concert ticket (which includes both nights’ concerts and one-day Disney theme park ticket (valid for one of the four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks) – $119 plus tax (in advance).*
And, if that weren’t enough, guests who purchase the two-day ticket on or before August 9, 2016 will also receive one (1) admission to their choice of Disney’s Blizzard Beach or Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon valid from September 6 – September 12, 2016.
New! Shopping at Disney Springs: Town Center, the newest Disney Springs neighborhood, will begin to open on May 15. By July 1, 2016, the majority of these new venues will be open to guests, alongside some great new Food & Beverage offerings. During the last several months, many new retailers have been announced; below is the latest list, in alphabetical order (More are expected to be announced in the coming weeks):
ALEX AND ANI • American Threads • Anthropologie • Coca-Cola Store • Columbia Sportswear • Edward Beiner • Everything But Water • francesca’s • Free People • JOHNNY WAS • Johnston & Murphy • kate spade new york • Kipling • LACOSTE • Lilly Pulitzer • L’Occitane En Provence • Lucky Brand • Luxury of Time by Diamonds International • M·A·C Cosmetics • Melissa Shoes • Na Hoku • Oakley • PANDORA • Sephora • Shore • Sperry • Tommy Bahama • TROPHY ROOM • UGG • Under Armour • UNIQLO • UNOde50 • Vince Camuto • Vera Bradley • Volcom • Zara
Reminder! Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is Here: The inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side launches at Walt Disney World Resort on April 14-17. The sold-out race weekend pays homage to the Dark Side of the Star Wars galaxy and is expected to draw more than 50,000 runners, spectators and fans. The new Star Wars event weekend will be an intergalactic experience with kids’ races, 5K, 10K half marathon and Star Wars Dark Side Challenge, along with Star Wars-themed experiences, character greetings and a health and fitness expo.
New! Kingdom Couture Collection: The new Kingdom Couture collection will debut at select merchandise locations this month. Created especially for Disney Parks, the Kingdom Couture collection was designed using luxurious fabrics and intricate details. The result is elegant yet comfortable apparel and accessories that are fit for royalty. The Kingdom Couture spring collection arrives in select merchandise locations in mid-April. Additional Kingdom Couture items will be introduced later this year. This means that select apparel and accessories from a particular season may only be available for a limited period of time at Disney Parks.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
April 20 – 24: Celebrate Earth Day with some of our favorite nature-inspired product offerings! Pick up some plant stained stationery from Boiled Books or watch the Fairy House Ladies build whimsical creations at Island Mercantile. Visit Mombasa Marketplace to find some of Jortra Boutique’s handmade jewelry, made with coffee beans, cantaloupe seeds, and orange peels or start growing your very own plumeria plant from Just Plumerias.
April 15 – 17: Join us as we welcome ACME Archives artist Rob Kaz who will be on hand for special appearances and signings of some of his latest Star Wars releases from 3 – 5 p.m. and 7 – 9 p.m., each day at Art of Disney in Disney Springs Marketplace.
April 16: Meet artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of some of her newest releases, among other favorites, from 4 – 8 p.m. in WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op in Disney Springs Marketplace.
April 18 – 21: Geir Ness will be on hand for a special appearance as he showcases the latest from his Laila fragrance and beauty collection. Meet Geir, noon – 6 p.m., each day, at The Puffin’s Roost in the Norway Pavilion at World Showcase.
Closures and Refurbishments
Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.
Latest posts by Jennifer (see all)
- All-New Nighttime Fireworks Spectacular to Replace ‘IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth’ as Part of the Transformation of Epcot - September 17, 2018
- 8 Cool Things You Can Do with Your Phone at Walt Disney World - July 25, 2018
- Westgate Resorts brings first upscale resort to Cocoa Beach - July 13, 2018
Sign up for my mailing list and get a FREE eBook
5 Steps to Book your Disney World Vacation9