Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, June 05, 2015

What’s New This Week?

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

New! Orange Bird Returns to Magic Kingdom Park: The Orange Bird returned to the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom Park on May 29. You may recall that Aloha Isle Refreshments and Sunshine Tree Terrace swapped menus and locations in March. Starting Friday, guests will again find the Orange Bird figurine that was reintroduced to Adventureland in 2012. He is also being added to the marquee for the location. Orange Bird will also be prominently featured in a new attraction poster found at Magic Kingdom Park. To celebrate his return, Disney Parks is offering the poster as an adult and youth T-shirt on our Disney Parks online store from May 29 to June 4. An Art on Demand canvas wrap and print will also be available online.

Reminder! Adjusted Times for Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!: Due to refurbishment work on Main Street, U.S.A., Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! will be presented at 12:30 and 5:40 p.m. on June 8, June 15 and June 29, 2015.


New!  The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Lineup Announced: The Sounds Like Summer Concert Series is coming to Epcot June 7- July 25, 2015, bringing the top rock n’ roll hits to the America Gardens Theatre stage with seven talented tribute bands. Showtimes for the concert series are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m., and on July 4, 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m. The line up for the 2015 Sounds Like Summer Concert Series includes:

  • DSB – A Tribute to Journey – June 7-13
  • 2U – A Tribute to U2 – June 14-20
  • Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot – The Ultimate Billy Joel Show – June 21-26
  • Don’t Look Back – A Tribute to Boston – June 27- July 4
  • Fire & Ice – A Tribute to Pat Benatar – July 5-11 NEW!
  • Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees – July 12-18
  • Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles – July 19-25

New! First Look at 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: This year, an exciting 53 days are planned for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, celebrating two delicious decades from September 25 – November 16. Now noted as one of America’s top food festivals by the Travel Channel, the 20th rendition promises plenty of celebrity chefs and new marketplaces, but also traditions that guests look forward to each year. Look for favorite chefs such as Cat Cora, Jamie Deen, John Ash, Robert Irvine and Buddy Valastro onstage for demos and premium events (John Ash was at the very first Epcot fest back in 1996, and returns for 2015.) In all, more than 270 Disney chefs and culinary stars from across the U.S. will be showcased. And for those who can’t wait to take a trip around the world at the 25-plus Marketplace kiosks, look for both new dishes (pepper bacon mac ‘n cheese at Farm Fresh Marketplace, seared venison loin in New Zealand) and returning classics (yes, the pierogies are still there in Poland, as well as Belgian waffles and kalua pork sliders in Hawaii). Wines, beers, Champagne, cocktails and mocktails are paired with good eats at each stop. Eat to the Beat concerts are already lined up (see below) with favorites such as Tiffany, Chaka Khan, Boyz II Men and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. And the favorite Party for the Senses grand tasting events are back every Saturday night in October featuring more than 50 wines and beers with tempting bites from eminent chefs. Other fun stuff: the Ocean Spray cranberry bog is back. And Chase cardholders can chill out, grab a complimentary soft drink and try some interactive fun at the Chase Lounge in American Adventure. For kids of all ages, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak takes you on a scavenger hunt for little Remy statuettes (maps, stickers and prizes are involved). New premium events includes “French Family Meal Traditions” lunches on Fridays and Saturdays, a “Rockin’ Burger Block Party” on select dates, and new beverage events including “Exploring Wines from 1996 to Now.”

New! Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert Series Announced: More info on this year’s festival has been released, including the lineup for 2015’s “Eat to the Beat” concert series. Daily show times take place at 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Entertainment and appearances are subject to change without notice. Here’s the full list.

  • David Cook – September 25-27, 2015
  • Wilson Phillips – September 28-29, 2015
  • Christopher Cross – September 30-October 1, 2015
  • Starship – October 2-4, 2015
  • Smash Mouth – October 5-7, 2015
  • The Pointer Sisters – October 8-9, 2015
  • 38 Special – October 10-11, 2015
  • Rick Springfield – October 12-13, 2015
  • Sugar Ray – October 14-16, 2015
  • The S.O.S. Band – October 17-18, 2015
  • Air Supply – October 19-21, 2015
  • Fuel – October 22-23, 2015
  • Tiffany (NEW!) – October 24-25, 2015
  • Dennis DeYoung – October 26-28, 2015
  • Jo Dee Messina – October 29-30, 2015
  • Everclear (NEW!) – October 31-November 1, 2015
  • Boyz II Men – November 2-4, 2015
  • Sister Hazel – November 5-6, 2015
  • Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – November 7-9, 2015
  • Hanson – November 10-12, 2015
  • Maxi Priest (NEW!) – November 13-14, 2015
  • Chaka Khan (NEW!) – November 15-16, 2015

Update! Disney-Pixar “Inside Out” Preview at Epcot: Beginning May 30, the Imagination Pavilion theater in Epcot will offer a limited-time special preview inside Disney -Pixar’s original new film “Inside Out.” “Inside Out” ventures inside the mind of 11-year-old Riley and introduces us to the Emotions that guide her. Based in Headquarters, the five Emotions are hard at work, led by lighthearted optimist Joy, whose mission is to make sure Riley stays happy. Guests will experience an advance look at a sequence from the film, complete with special in-theater effects and an exclusive introduction from the filmmakers. The “Inside Out” preview is scheduled through July. Captain EO will remain temporarily closed during the preview and is planned to return in July. New -The “Inside Out” Emotion Garden from the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival has been extended for the run of the sneak peek, so you can discover its variety of emotion-inspired flora near the theater.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Reminder! Star Wars Weekends Schedule: Immerse yourself in another world with the power of the Force during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This event runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 15–June 14. While at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you’ll find an entire saga’s worth of characters, specialty shows and celebrities on hand for pictures, autographs, motorcades and more. The 2015 Star Wars Weekends celebrity appearances include:
Weekend IV (June 5 – 7)

  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Jeremy Bulloch: Boba Fett (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano (Star Wars: The Clone Wars; Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend V (June 12 – 14)

  • Frank Oz: Yoda (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi; Star Wars Rebels)
  • Ray Park: Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace)
  • Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith; Star Wars: A New Hope; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Taylor Gray: Ezra Bridger (Star Wars Rebels)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

New! Baby Rhino Now Appearing on the Savanna: Earlier this year, thousands of you voted to name our female baby rhino Kiama. She has been growing rapidly – gaining about three or four pounds a day – and now you can see her during your next adventure on Kilimanjaro Safaris! The young white rhino just stepped on to the savanna for the first time. Kiama weighs about 400 pounds, while her mom Kendi is closer to 4,000 pounds! Kendi was born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1999.

Update! Dining Refurbishments in Progress: Following is a list of the dining location refurbishments currently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: Gardens Kiosk – Closed through June 6. Creature Comforts will reopens as a Starbucks location in June. Flame Tree Barbecue remains closed until late June. Beginning June 4, Flame Tree favorites will be available solely at Gardens Kiosk and Bradley Falls.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Men’s Spa Experiences Available: Beginning Monday, June 1, Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort will offer a new men’s experience. Distinctly designed to suit the needs of men’s skin, the Soothing Gentlemen’s Facial will refresh and revitalize. Throughout this experience, warm towels and a soothing scalp massage ease tension and relax the mind. This new spa experience is offered for 25 minutes ($70) or 50 minutes ($135).

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! ‘NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort’ Coming to Disney Springs: The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort is going to be a one-of-a-kind destination featuring hands-on activities that put families and guests of all ages right in the middle of NBA game action. You’ll be able to explore inside the world of professional basketball with numerous interactive experiences and enjoy a restaurant and retail store. The NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort will be one of more than 150 shopping, dining and entertainment venues at Disney Springs.

New! Vivoli Gelateria Opens Soon at Downtown Disney: Known as one of the must-do’s in Florence Italy, Vivoli Gelateria will soon be available stateside for Guests at Walt Disney World. The family-run gelato shop will open its second storefront – and the first outside of Italy – later this month at The Landing, the newest neighborhood to debut as part of the future Disney Springs. According to the owner, the gelato at Vivoli is made with fresh, top-quality ingredients using the exact same recipes from the original shop. The artisans plan to use local and seasonal products, with cocoa powder, hazelnut and pistachio imported from Italy. In addition to their signature gelato, Vivioli Gelateria will also serve traditional Italian panini, biscotti, espresso and tarts.

New! New Exit Ramp at Downtown Disney Parking Garage:  An additional exit ramp is now open in the Orange Garage, providing another way to exit the garage onto westbound Buena Vista Drive (toward Bonnet Creek Parkway) for vehicles parked on levels 3 and 4. Those parked on levels 1 and 2 of the garage will continue to exit on the ground floor through intersections 3 and 5.

Reminder! “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party at Typhoon Lagoon May 22-July 5: As part of the Coolest Summer Ever at Walt Disney World Resort, a new summertime dance party is surfing into Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park. From May 22 through July 5, Guests can join in the “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party daily (weather permitting) at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Surf Pool Beach. Guests can join “bikers” Rev and Kicks and “surfers” Bingo and Sunny as they dance and play beach-themed games while DJ “Amp” spins remixes of retro tunes. “Teen Beach 2:” Beach Party is inspired by the Disney Channel Original Movie, “Teen Beach 2,” set to premiere this summer.

Merchandise Events

June 5 – 6: Join us as we welcome artist Joey Chou to WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op inDowntown Disney Marketplace. Take part in a special artist showcase and signing from June 5 from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and June 6 from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Special Tip: Joey will also be appearing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios forStar Wars Weekends.

June 10 – 14: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings June 10 – 14 from Noon – 8 p.m. at Art of Disney in Epcot and June 26 – July 1 from 1 – 9 p.m. at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Merchandise Updates

New! Decorative Hand Sanitizers Coming to Disney Parks: There will be approximately 20 new hand sanitizers arriving at Disney Parks in late June and early-to-mid July. The artwork features popular Disney characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Anna, Elsa and other select Disney Princesses. Sleeping Beauty Castle from Disneyland park and Cinderella Castle from Magic Kingdom Park will also be included in the mix. Each hand sanitizer comes with a specially designed 1 fluid ounce bottle and a key chain split ring with lobster claw clasp. Hand sanitizer will retail for $8.95 (plus tax).

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

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