Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, May 21, 2015

What’s New This Week?

Walt Disney World Theme Parks

Magic Kingdom Park

New! ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ Kicks Off with 24 Hour Event May 22: Magic Kingdom Park will host a 24-hour extravaganza on Friday, May 22 to kick off the “Coolest Summer Ever” at the Walt Disney World Resort. The park will open at 6:00am and remain open for 24 hours, closing Saturday, May 23 at 6:00am. The celebration will feature character greetings, dance parties and surprises throughout the night. In addition to all the usual favorite characters and shows at the park,  there will also be a full roster of amazing, unique entertainment experiences that will definitely make this day one of the coolest ever!

  • The extravaganza kicks off with some very special appearances in the Welcome Show as Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf join the rest of the gang welcoming everyone into the park.
  • A Flag Raising ceremony will be held at dawn in Town Square, featuring the Reedy Creek Honor Guard.
  • Some favorite stars from Disney Channel will be Grand Marshals for the “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” at 3 p.m.
  • Over in Tomorrowland, Disney Channel Club Chill takes over Rockettower Plaza Stage from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., with DJ Frost leading a dance party with music videos from Disney Channel stars and sneak peeks of upcoming Disney Channel Original Movies Teen Beach 2 and Descendants.
  • Once things cool down in Tomorrowland, Rockettower Plaza switches gears for sing-along screenings of Disney’s “Frozen” from midnight – 4 a.m.
  • There’s even more “Frozen” fun in store, when Olaf, Kristoff, Anna and Elsa put the Magic Kingdom “on ice” with pre-parade appearances just ahead of the 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. performances of the Main Street Electrical Parade.
  • Guests looking to dance the night away can join the Disney pals – all dressed in their PJs – at one of two late-night dance parties. They can kick up their heels at the Frontierland Dance Party, near Country Bear Jamboree, from 2 a.m. – 6 a.m. At Cinderella Castle, Disney’s “Up All Night” Dance Party keeps things hopping from 2:00 a.m. – 5:45 a.m. with awesome DJ, stiltwalkers and lots of fun party people!
  • As that 24th hour comes to a close, everyone will make their way to Town Square on Main Street, U.S.A., for a special finale moment with Mickey and the gang.

New! ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ Cupcake: Guests will find a festive cupcake found in the following locations:

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 2, June 3, June 8, June 15 and June 29, 2015.

Epcot

Update! American Music Machine Set Change: A new musical performance group called American Music Machine is now performing Wednesday through Sunday each week. American Music Machine is a five-member group that features a repertoire of diverse and contemporary American music. Their performances are 12:30, 1:40, 2:20, 3 and 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday at the America Gardens Theatre at the American Adventure.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New! Star Wars Cupcakes Have Returned:  The Force is strong at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with not only two, but three specialty cupcakes this year! Darth Vader cupcake is made out of chocolate cake with a rich chocolate-peanut butter filling, and chocolate frosting. This treat is available at the following locations: Watto’s Grotto, ABC Commissary, FairFax Fare, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Rosie’s All American Café, and The Trolley Car Café.

The Yoda cupcake is made of chocolate with chocolate hazelnut buttercream and candy crush. And new this year, Jabba The Hutt cupcake is made of chocolate with salted caramel frosting. Both treats are available at the following locations: Watto’s Grotto, Backlot Express, Starring Rolls, Studio Catering Co.,  and The Trolley Car Café.

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 I (May 15 – 17)

  • Ian McDiarmid: Senator/Emperor Palpatine (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)
  • Amy Allen: Aayla Secura (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Tiya Sircar: Sabine Wren (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend II (May 22 – 24)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Silas Carson: Ki-Adi-Mundi, Nute Gunray (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Attack of the Clones; Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
  • Vanessa Marshall: Hera Syndulla (Star Wars Rebels)

Weekend III (May 29 – 31)

  • Warwick Davis: Wald, Wicket W. Warrick (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace; Star Wars: Return of the Jedi)
  • Daniel Logan: Boba Fett (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones)
  • Steve Blum: Zeb Orrelios (Star Wars Rebels)

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! New Guest Path in Asia Now Open: Work is complete on a pathway in the Asia section of the theme park. A new bypass, which is now open, will connect the area of Asia next to Kali River Rapids and the side of the siamang exhibit by Expedition Everest. This pathway is already depicted on the park guidemap. It is available for Guests to use as a quick way to access the opposite side of the land while still getting a great view of the animals.

New! Character Meet and Greet Changes: Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have the following character changes beginning May 24. Guests will be able to meet Tarzan daily along the Discovery Island Trail. Pocahontas will be greeting Guests intermittently at the Discovery Island Character Landing location.

New! 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 May.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Chef Mickey’s to Offer Brunch: Beginning May 31, 2015, Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort will offer brunch. For brunch, the menu of breakfast favorites expands with soup; salads including Caesar; seafood, fresh broccoli, antipasto, chicken and Caprese, and hot dishes such as barbecued ribs, seafood étouffée and baked salmon. (And, yes, the famous Mickey waffles are on the brunch menu.) The ice cream bar and Contemporary bakery sweets also will be part of the expansive buffet. Operating hours in the morning will be changed to 7:00am – 2:30pm, with brunch items being added to the buffet after 11:30am. Hours for brunch are 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (Breakfast is still 7-11:30 a.m. and dinner 5-9:30 p.m.) Meals are one table-service entitlement on the Disney Dining Plan. Reservations open May 22 for what promises to be a popular new addition to Walt Disney World Resort dining.

New! Mizner’s Lounge at Disney’s Grand Floridian to Serve Coffee During Day: Beginning Thursday, May 14, Mizner’s Lounge will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. as a coffee bar for Guests. The lounge will operate as normal from 4:30 p.m. to midnight—serving beer, wine and cocktails for Guests.

Reminder! Menu Changes at Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort: While the Gulf Delta Chilled Shellfish has been removed from the lineup, the Ol’ Man Island Oysters have been added, now combined with the new Colonel’s Peace Pieces, featuring a blend of lightly fried oysters, crawfish, shrimp, okra, and drizzled with the house-made remoulade. Joining the appetizer selection will be the Pirogue Platter, including the Chef’s selection of meats and artisanal cheeses. The Ponchartrain Pasta will now include orecchiette pasta, Andouille sausage and fresh shrimp, complimented with fresh corn, and tossed in a light cream sauce. The Voodoo Chicken will now be accompanied by fluffy waffles and garnished with maple bacon gravy. Along with these changes, Guests will now be able to add Shrimp Creole, Crab Imperial or Crawfish Mac n’ Cheese to enhance their entrée experience.

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! Additional New Retail and Dining Announced for Disney Springs: As Downtown Disney continues to transform into Disney Springs, the area is doubling in size and bringing even more
shopping, dining and entertainment experiences to Guests between now and 2016. We’re excited to announce 13 new high-profile tenants have just signed on to be part of Disney Springs and will join a diverse mix of retailers and restaurants. Coming to Disney Springs:
RETAIL

  • Zara: Owned by the Inditex Group, one of the world’s largest fashion retail groups. Zara is known for its men’s, women’s and children’s clothing and accessories, and how it expertly interprets current fashion and style trends of the season, delivering original designs to the consumer in a matter of weeks.
  • Tommy Bahama: Iconic island lifestyle brand Tommy Bahama embodies relaxed sophistication. The hallmarks of this casual collection include island-inspired sportswear, denim, and swimwear for men and women in luxuriously soft silks and cottons, richly woven textures and eclectic prints.
  • Lilly Pulitzer: The authentic American resort wear brand, Lilly Pulitzer, is landing in the heart of Disney and will be offering their clothing and accessories, optimistic outlook, and happy prints to those who’ve loved the brand for years and new Lilly Girls out there.
  • UNIQLO: Leading global retailer UNIQLO designs, manufactures, and sells casual apparel that comes from the company’s Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. The simplest design hides the most thoughtful details in clothing that is constantly being innovated to bring more warmth and lightness, better design and comfort to people’s lives.
  • PANDORA: Building on its existing relationship with Disney Parks, the popular jewelry brand offers classic yet modern charm bracelets, along with necklaces, rings and earrings, as well as a line of exclusive Disney-themed jewelry.
  • UGG: The UGG® brand is recognized as a premium lifestyle brand offering men’s, women’s and kid’s footwear as well as loungewear, outerwear, home products, cold weather accessories and handbags.
  • L’Occitane en Provence: L’Occitane en Provence is an international skincare and beauty line celebrating the culture and beauty of Provence, France.
  • Edward Beiner: A leading eyewear designer, purveyor and retailer, Edward Beiner offers today’s aspiring lifestyle-oriented customer the world’s most original, authentic and innovative designer, fashion and high performance eyewear.

DINING

  • Edison: Inspired by The Edison venue in Los Angeles, this lavish “Industrial Gothic”-style restaurant, bar and nighttime destination is themed to a 1920s-period power plant, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination. It will feature exceptionally good classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret and music.
  • Sprinkles: The world’s first cupcake bakery, as named by Food Network and others, serves up handcrafted cupcakes, slow churned ice cream and homemade cookies. Their innovative Cupcake ATM satisfies sweet-toothed epicureans 24/7.
  • Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza: Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza is a modern day “pizza joint” known for its custom-built artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s’more pies. The fast-casual restaurant features an interactive assembly-line format that allows guests to customize their pizza, choosing from over 40 fresh, artisanal toppings – all for one price. The generously sized, 11-inch pizzas are “fast-fired” in a blazing hot open-flame oven and ready to enjoy in just 180 seconds.
  • Vivoli Gelateria: Vivoli Gelateria serves expertly crafted gelato made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, panini sandwiches and espresso drinks.
  • Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s: Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s specializes in premium loose-leaf teas (hot, iced, blended) featuring customs blends, accessories and packaged teas from all over the globe; created to go or for a tea experience in the café.

These tenants will be located throughout Town Center and The Landing. In addition, previously announced Morimoto Asia, STK Orlando and Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar are scheduled to open in Fall 2015.

New! Cirque du Soleil Dark May 17-31: From May 17-31, Cirque du Soleil will experience a dark period. There will be no performances at this time.

Merchandise Events

New! Star Wars Force for Change: Starting May 15, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will carry T-shirts for adults, women and kids featuring a stormtrooper from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During the final weekend, June 12-14, they will offer a limited edition stormtrooper pin at Darth’s Mall. Twenty-five percent of the retail sale price of this product will be donated to U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF Kid Power, an innovative new program that uses the world’s first Wearable-For-Good to get youth physically active to provide lifesaving, nutrition-rich food packets to kids in need around the world. These items are the first products for Star Wars: The Force Awakens released by Disney Parks. They are also the first character products released for the upcoming film. To learn more about Star Wars: Force For Change, please visit www.StarWars.com/ForceForChange.

New! ‘Coolest Summer Ever’ Merchandise: The “Coolest Summer Ever” in Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort! This 24-hour party starts 6 a.m. Friday, May 22, and runs until 6 a.m. Saturday, May 23. Guests will be able to purchase a commemorative T-shirt featuring the host of the party, Olaf from Disney’s “Frozen.” This year’s shirt will contain ink that changes color when exposed to sunlight. The shirt will be found in Emporium on Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park. We will also offer it online from May 22-31 at DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

Closures and Refurbishments

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

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