Again, a big news week out of Disney. Everything from expansion to price changes. There was actually more news, but here are the top 11 stories for the week.
1 – Loads More Details Released on Disney Springs Expansion Including New Dining
The massive expansion of Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) is nearing the end and details on the next major wave of openings was released this week. Many new stores were announced along with some new dining options. Check out the details here.
2 – “Cool” New Addition Coming to Blizzard Beach
It was only a matter of time. Frozen characters are coming to Blizzard Beach, but not in the usual way.
Attention “Frozen” fans: Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will play host to the inaugural Frozen Games this summer.
The Winter Games Committee has taken advantage of the freak snowstorm over Central Florida and will host an impromptu sporting event known as The Frozen Games. They’ve even invited Kristoff and Olaf to lead teams of guests in a day full of fun “Frozen” activities, before the warm sun melts the snow away.
Guests visiting the waterpark can to join “Team Kristoff” or “Team Olaf” and participate in a variety of activities, including Ice Pail Relays, a Snowball Toss to Ski Pole Limbo and Slide Races.
Olaf and Kristoff will join the Winter Games Committee members in the games’ Opening and Closing Ceremonies, and will give updates throughout the games to report on their team’s achievements.
3 – Good News for Florida Residents
For those of you that live in Florida and have the Florida Resident Disney Select tickets the restrictions on visiting during the spring break time have now been lifted. For those of you who don’t live in Florida, why not? It’s a free country! What are you waiting for! 🙂
4 – Big Improvement Coming to My Disney App (finally)
While not officially confirmed, rumor has it that a much needed change is coming to the My Disney App. Beginning is early April, guests will be able to make additional FastPass+ reservations (after using your initial three) using the app on your phone. Currently, guests must visit one of the FastPass+ Kiosks to get additional FastPasses.
5 – Disney Cruise Line Expanding
Disney Announced this week the addition of two new ships to the Disney Cruise Line. This is welcome news for fans of cruising with Disney as the addition of two new ships undoubtedly means new itineraries and ports of call.
Disney has entered into a memorandum of agreement with Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany to complete the ships for 2021 and 2023. Both new ships will be larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, at 135,000 gross tons and 1250 guest rooms. Names and itineraries are still to be determined.
“The expansion of Disney Cruise Line only adds to our excitement for the unprecedented growth taking place across our vacation destinations, from new Star Wars experiences coming to the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts to the 25th anniversary of Disneyland Paris and the grand opening of our newest park, Shanghai Disney Resort,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
6 – Finding Dory Characters Being Added to Turtle Talk with Crush
Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo (one of the greatest Pixar movies of all time) is scheduled to open on June 17, 2016. If it’s just half as good as Finding Nemo, it is destined to be a huge hit. In preparation for the next blockbuster, Disney has announced that characters from the new movie will be joining Turtle Talk with Crush at The Living Seas Pavilion in Epcot. The interactive experience allows guests to meet and talk to their favorite residents of the big blue which will soon include Dory, Destiny the whale shark, Bailey the beluga whale and Hank the “septopus”. Also joining Crush will be Squirt, Marlin and the little man himself, Nemo.
7 – Cult Snack Favorite Being Removed from Animal Kingdom
The latest snack favorite to meet the chopping block in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Turkey Leg. Following the exit of churros and pretzels, the snack that literally inspired a line of clothing will no longer be offered in this park. A result of guests frequently ignoring the hundreds of signs asking them not to feed the animals (not to mention the welfare of the animals themselves), another great snack bites the dust. Seriously, quit feeding the animals.
8 – Diamond Horseshoe Review Opens for Dining
Diamond Horseshoe Review is one of those amazing buildings in Frontierland in Magic Kingdom that most people pass buy without ever noticing because it’s closed most of the year. Disney has announced that the rarely used space will open to guests for limited engagement dining this spring. Don’t miss this rare treat. Full details can be found here.
9 – Disney Makes Major Changes to Ticketing and Prices
Perhaps the biggest news out of Disney this week was the move to seasonal pricing for 1-day Park Tickets and other prices increases across the board. The internet lit up over the week as news spread that Disney would now be charging guests who visit during peak crowd periods significantly more. The move is an effort to control crowds amid continued record attendance levels. For the full story click here.
10 –2016 Flower and Garden Festival Opens at Epcot
The 2016 Flower and Garden Festival is underway at Epcot. Featuring amazing floral displays, educational opportunities, concerts and festival kitchens, the festival has become a spring favorite. The festival runs from now until May 30, 2016.
- For the concert schedule, click here.
- For the full list of kitchen menus, click here.
- For the 10 things we love about Flower & Garden Festival, click here.
11 – Disney Announces Opening Date of New Nighttime Spectacular
The transition of Animal Kingdom to a nighttime park has been a long time in coming. Central to that transition is the addition of a major evening show along the lines of Fantasmic, Illuminations and Wishes. Rivers of Light will be opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on April 22, 2016. Read the full details here.