What’s New for Week of Jan 7, 2014 – Walt Disney World, Disneyland & Universal Orlando News

 

There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.  Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Disney news and at Universal Orlando!

What’s New This Week?

Photo: Disney©

Photo: Disney©

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New! New Walt Disney World Discount Offer for Spring 2014: Save up to 30% on rooms at select Walt Disney World(R) Resort hotels. Upgrade to a room and ticket package and get one more ticket day FREE! (Minimum 4-day Magic Your Way ticket required.) Offer Valid for stays most nights March 14 – April 12 and April 20 – June 15. Other great rates may be available February 24 to March 5, 2014. Details here: http://destinationsinflorida.com/blog/2014/01/06/new-walt-disney-world-discounts-2014-select-disney-resort-hotels-spring/

New! MagicBand Updates: As part of our the test process for MyMagic+, the MagicBand-only test is expanding to all Walt Disney World Resort hotels by late January. As a result, all resort Guests will be using Disney FastPass+ service exclusively.  Testing will begin on the following dates (dates for resorts listed include any Disney Vacation Club accommodations located at those properties):

  • Monday, Jan. 6 – Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
  • Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
  • Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
  • Thursday, Jan. 9 – Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Spring Resort & Spa
  • Friday, Jan. 10 – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Monday, Jan. 13 – Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts
  • Tuesday, Jan. 14 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Wednesday, Jan. 15 – Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
  • Thursday, Jan. 16 – Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Friday, Jan. 17 – Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa and Disney’s Polynesian Resort
  • Monday, Jan. 20 – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

New! Camp Minnie-Mickey and Festival of the Lion King Close at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Camp Minnie-Mickey has forever closed it’s doors at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This area is being refurbished as a new land themed to James Cameron’s Avatar. Avatarland, as it’s being called, will not be ready for for several years. The only date given by Disney is early 2017! Festival of the Lion King on the other hand will reopen this summer in a new theater location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The last show of Festival of the Lion King was held on January 5th, 2014.

New! New Character Greeting Locations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:  Since Camp Minnie-Mickey closed permanently on January 6, 2014 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can now find your favorite characters in other locations: —Chip and Dale will “meet and play” at Rafiki’s Planet Watch as Guests make their way from the Wildlife Express Train station to Conservation Station. In this playful setting, children of all ages can pose for photos with the chipmunks and hear music by Gi-Tar Dan. —Say “Wingapo” to Pocahontas as she joins porcupines, colorful exotic birds and other animal friends along the Discovery Island Trail. —Donald Duck will welcome friends to join him for a photo with Cory the dinosaur along Cretaceous Trail in DinoLand U.S.A. —King Louie and Baloo have found a home in Upcountry Landing along Bradley Falls. —Remember, Mickey and Minnie moved to a new home at the Adventurers Outpost on Discovery Island early last year, so they will continue to meet Guests there.

New! Completion Badge Added for Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Beginning Jan. 5, Guests who complete all 31 Wilderness Explorers badge activities can receive a Senior Wilderness Explorer badge. This badge can be given out at any of the six Troop Leader locations throughout the park. These locations are indicated on the guidemap.

New! The “Celebrate A Dream Come True Parade” Concludes: This parade made its final run on Saturday, January 4. Now, there will be a period of time when a traditional 3:00pm parade is not presented at Magic Kingdom until the new daytime parade “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” debuts in Spring 2014.

New! Lemon Blueberry Cupcake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting! Beginning Monday, Jan. 6 a brand new cupcake arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! It is a Lemon Blueberry cupcake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting for $5.19 at select quick service locations, including Rosie’s All-American Cafe, Starring Rolls Cafe, Backlot Express, Pizza Planet, ABC Commissary, Fairfax Fare and Studio Catering Co. . This sweet treat is part of the Disney Dining Plan and will be available Jan. 6 – March 6.

New! “Frozen” Characters at Epcot through Jan. 31: Anna and Elsa, from Disney’s hit comedy adventure, “Frozen,” are delighting audiences in theaters and drawing legions of fans to Prinsesse Plas in the Norway pavilion. With the growing popularity of these royal visitors from Arendelle, their stay at Epcot has been extended. Guests will continue to be able to greet Elsa and Anna in Norway, through Jan. 31. Nearby, Guests can also continue to discover a new gallery exhibit exploring how the culture and beauty of Norway inspired the creators of “Frozen.”

New! Dates Announced for Epcot Flower and Garden Festival: Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival returns to the park March 5 – May 18. This annual festival, with its floral displays, topiaries, and food fun, will showcase Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy as this year’s lead topiary.

New! Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Refurbishment: Guest rooms and buildings throughout Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be refurbished starting in early January and scheduled to complete in August. Guest buildings will be taken out of inventory and will not occupied by Guests while work is being performed. Room enhancements include all-new drapery, carpeting, headboards and more!

New! Delectable Spa Treatments at Disney Spas: The flavors of the season – Champagne, strawberries and chocolate mousse — are just a few of decadent ingredients in the new spa offerings at Senses – a Disney Spa at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort. From January 1- February 28, these tasty treatments debut just in time for the new year at both Senses spa locations. There’s Chocolate and Strawberry Facial to tone, tighten and detoxify, a Mimosa Champagne Scrub and Body Wrap that hydrates and refines and a Mimosa Champagne and Chocolate Pedicure to give your tootsies some pampering, plus a Chocolate Truffle Body Wrap, created to reduce wrinkles and hydrate with rich chocolate. Call or visit the spas for more info: 407-WDW-SPAS.

Photo: Disney©

New! Winter Promotions Available at Locations Serving Starbucks Specialty Beverages: Beginning Jan. 7, 2014, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café at Disney California Adventure, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, Fountain View at Epcot and Market House at Disneyland will offer a variety of new winter items as part of the Starbucks Winter Promotions.

New! Holiday Decor Removal Begins: The Holiday Services team will be removing holiday decor at parks this week. In some cases, it’s already begun. Removal of holiday decor at Magic Kingdom and Epcot began after park close on Monday, Jan. 6. Removal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios begins at approximately 10 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9. Removal at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, beginning at approximately 10 p.m. on Jan. 8.

New! Wyland Gallery Closed at Disney’s Polynesian Resort: The last day of operation for Wyland Galleries at Disney’s Polynesian Resort was Tuesday, Dec. 31. Guests interested in Wyland Galleries may continue to visit the location at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort.

New 2014 Promotion Begins – Disney Family Time Resolutions: Disney launched  disney.com/resolutions  where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January. On disney.com/resolutions, they are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!

New! Merchandise Events:

  • January 17: Be among the first to pick up Cutesters Series 6 at D Street in Downtown Disney West Side. Artists Maria Clapsis and Caley Hicks will be on hand for a special appearance and signing from 5 – 6 p.m., so don’t miss out!
  • Keep an eye out for special Disney Pin and Vinylmation releases this month in the Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Closures and Refurbishments

Magic Kingdom

  • Casey’s Corner 01/06/14 – 02/15/14
  • Tomorrowland Speedway 01/06/14 – 01/12/14
  • Splash Mountain 01/06/14 – 03/21/14
  • Splashdown Photos 1/6/14 – 3/21/14
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 01/13/14 – 01/16/14
  • Agrabah Bazaar 1/13/14 – 1/16/14
    • Aladdin and Jasmine will be greeting Guests from the Adventureland Veranda porch while the Bazaar is closed.
  • Liberty Square Riverboat 01/21/14 – 01/30/14
  • Barnstormer 2/3/14 – 2/5/14
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority 2/10/14 – 3/27/14
  • Pinocchio’s Village Haus 2/17/14 – 3/30/14
  • The Plaza Restaurant 2/17/14 – 3/15/14

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Monsters Inc. Meet & Greet 1/5/14 – 1/19/14
  • Backlot Tour 1/5/14 – 3/1/14

Epcot

  • American Adventure Restrooms Mid-January – End of January

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Festival of the Lion King 1/6/14 – tbd
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey 1/6/14 – permanent closure

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Closed for annual refurbishment 01/06/14 – 03/17/14

Disney’s All Star Sports Resort

  • Surf’s Up Pool 01/06/14 – 01/24/14
  • Grand Slam Quiet Pool Deck 2/11/14 – 2/13/14

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

  • Kiddie Pool Wet Deck – Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open 1/21/14 – 2/14/14

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

  • Villas Quiet Pool & Spa 2/3/14 – 3/7/14

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Pool slides – pools remain open 01/27/14 – 02/07/14

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Bay Lake Tower Kiddie Pool Wet Deck – Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open. 1/13/14 – 2/7/14

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Victoria & Albert’s 1/19/14 – 1/29/14
  • Guest rooms and buildings throughout Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be refurbished starting in early January and scheduled to complete in August. Guest buildings will be taken out of inventory and will not occupied by Guests while work is being performed.

Disney’s Old Key West

  • Goods to Go 1/20/14 – 1/30/14
  • Gurging Suitcase 2/5/14 – 2/28/14

Disney’s Polynesian Resort ­ 

  • Volcano Pool Slide 1/13/14 – 1/31/14
  • The Never Land Club 1/24/14 – 4/11/14
  • Beach & Sunset Point ­ Access to the east portion of the beach, near the Transportation and Ticket Center, and Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment. However, all other amenities will not be affected. Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

  • Doubloon Lagoon Pool – transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside 01/13/14 – 02/28/14

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

  • Magnolia Bend Bldg 80 – 85 Pool Deck 1/20/14 – 1/21/14

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort

  • Congress Park Pool 01/22/14 – 01/23/14

Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts

  • Yacht Club Quiet Pool 1/21/14 – 2/7/14
  • Beach Club Quiet Pool 2/3/14 – 2/4/14

Downtown Disney® Area

  • Cap’n Jack’s Marina – Closed
  • Parking Lots H,I,J,K Closed
  • Fuego – closed
  • Wetzels Pretzels – closed 10/20/13
  • Team Mickey Athletic Club 1/27/14 – 6/13/14
  • House of Blues – Starting on November 14, The House of Blues at Downtown Disney West Side is expanding its patio, building a new stage and adding a barbecue smokehouse. The House of Blues ticket sales window has moved inside the House of Blues retail shop. The expansion is expected to be complete in mid-January 2014.  During this time, there will be no live entertainment on the Front Porch stage.

Disneyland Resort in California

Photo: Disney©

New! Ticket Offers for Southern California Residents: Good news for Southern California residents! Once again, the Disneyland Resort has a special ticket offer just for you. Show your “Disney Side” this year with the following choices:

  • 2-day ticket with your choice of one park per day for $129
  • 2-day Park Hopper ticket for $164
  • 3-day ticket with your choice of one park per day for $159
  • 3-day Park Hopper ticket for $194

Tickets are valid for admission from January 6 to June 6, 2014 (with blockout days March 31-April 20, 2014*). Southern California residents must purchase tickets by May 30, 2014. The sooner you purchase, the more time you have to return for your second or third visit!

New! Winter Promotions Available at Locations Serving Starbucks Specialty Beverages: Beginning Jan. 7, 2014, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café at Disney California Adventure, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, Fountain View at Epcot and Market House at Disneyland will offer a variety of new winter items as part of the Starbucks Winter Promotions.

New 2014 Promotion Begins – Disney Family Time Resolutions: Disney launched  disney.com/resolutions  where Disney celebrities are sharing how they plan to resolve to spend more time with family in 2014. A new video will be uploaded everyday in January. On disney.com/resolutions, they are also awarding a vacation-a-day from December 31, 2013 through January 31, 2014! So enter every day for your chance to win because this is the year to spend more quality time with the people you love most. Good luck!

New! Merchandise Events

  • January 11 – 12: Join us as we welcome artist Leilani Joy! Make sure you take a moment to swing by WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District from 1 – 4 p.m. as we showcase some of Leilani’s new releases. .
  • January 16 – 19: Are you signed up for the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon? I’ll be sharing all of the details on this year’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon merchandise in the coming weeks. So get ready, because there are quite a few things that I’m pretty sure you’re going to run in for.
  • January 17 – 18: Get ready for an Art Attack! Artists J. Scott Campbell, John Coulter and Noah are taking over WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District with live art performances, artist signings and more taking place between 5 – 9 p.m. Who will you be rooting for?
  • January 25 – 26: Rounding out our artist showcases at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District is M. Andonia who will appear from 1 – 4 p.m. each day.
  • January 25 – 26: Meet artist Bob Elias from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Disneyana in Disneyland park, as he signs some of the newest pieces in his collection.

Closures and Refurbishments

Visit http://destinationsinflorida.com/disneylandrehab.pdf to download the latest renovations and closures at Disneyland.

 

Universal Orlando Resort

 

New! Live Webcast about Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley: James Phelps hosts a LIVE webcast on Jan 23 at Universal Orlando to reveal everything about Diagon Alley! Sign up now at www.universalorlando.com/webcast

New! Kids Eat Free at Loews: The program has been extended to include dates of January 5 – March 13, 2014, with a minimum of a 3-night stay at our on-site deluxe Loews hotels, kids can enjoy meals at our resorts!

• Valid for breakfast, lunch & dinner (during restaurant hours of operation) • One FREE kids meal with purchase of EACH adult entrée • Children up to 9 years old • Valid for kids menu and buffets only • Beverage included (select drinks only) • Gratuity included on the kids meal only

New! Mardi Gras Dates Announced: It’s the most spectacular celebration of the Big Easy spirit outside of New Orleans itself – Mardi Gras at Universal Studios®. Bring the whole family for a party filled with music and fun as only Universal Orlando® Resort can throw. Feb 8 – May 21, 2014. This year’s concerts include Robin Thicke (Feb 22) and The Wanted, May 10, plus 18 other concerts!

New! Telemundo’s hit Sunday night reality show, “La Voz Kids” will be taping at Universal Orlando® Resort: January 18–22 at 1:30PM & 5:00PM. Come see a wide variety of young talented singers competing to be the next music star and be part of the audience.

Closures and Refurbishments

  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls®: 1/6 – 2/1
  • Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue™: 1/5 – 1/31
  • Disaster!SM- A Major Motion Picture Ride…Starring YOU: 1/13 – 1/19
  • TWISTER…Ride It Out®: 1/20 – 2/1
Jennifer

Jennifer

Contact Jennifer to plan your families next magical vacation or click here to fill out her request form
Jennifer
  • Karl

    Hi, I read about a guide to save around Disney World – not only the Tickets to the park but also accommodations, meals and so on – it is supposed to be from a former employee – do you know about this and what do you think? It´s right here: http://www.disneyworldforless.com
    Thanks from Germany!

    • http://yourmagicalvacation.com Jennifer

      Karl – I have not heard about this book or the author. Thanks for the information

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