NEWS ROUNDUP: Controversial Policy Changes, New Dining, Attractions, Events and Offers

Big news week at Disney World with new attractions and dining options opening, many changes announced around property, and a couple pretty big (and controversial) changes to in park policies. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios a new show is opening, and the park is gearing up for the 30thAnniversary celebration on May 1. You can also catch the Disney Skyliner testing while visiting the park. More dates have been added to the popular Disney After Hours events, there is a new bundled saving pack available at Disney Water Parks, and a new food truck over at Disney Springs. However, the biggest news of the week was the announcement of new policy changes regarding smoking, stroller sizes, and ice and around Disney World. Catch up on all of these news stories and more below in our weekly news roundup!


1 – Disney Announces Major Policy Changes-Strollers, Smoking, and Prohibited Items

On Thursday, March 28, Disney announced several policy/rule changes. Beginning May 1, stroller sizes will be restricted with wagons being prohibited. Also, Disney will be making all of their theme parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports smoke-free areas with designated smoking sections available outside of the entrances. Finally, loose ice is also prohibited, although ice in resealable bags are still permitted. Not surprisingly, the smoking ban news was met with great joy from some and anger from other Disney fans. Many are thrilled that Disney Parks will be completely smoke-free, while others feel smokers are being unjustly punished. It’s a tough issue, but Disney has been moving towards smoke-free parks for years. For more information on the policy changes, click here to read our full article on the changes.

2 – Lightning McQueen Racing Academy Now Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

KA-CHOW! Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy debuts Sunday, March 31, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This new show experience invites guests into the world of Pixar Animation Studios’ Cars films as they become rookie racers and learn the rules of the road from Piston Cup Champion Lightning McQueen. We’ll be experiencing the new attraction on Wednesday and will have a full review with photos and video up shortly afterward! We can’t wait to check it out.

3 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Gearing Up for 30thAnniversary Celebration with New Projection Show

We’re one month away from celebrating Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ 30thAnniversary on May 1, 2019. The previously announced new nighttime projection show, “Wonderful World of Animation,” will debut on May 1. (We expect this show is replacing the existing Disney Movie Magic projection show). There will be a special anniversary ceremony as well on May 1. We will be covering the Anniversary event on April 30th at a special media event as well as on May 1. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for all of the anniversary coverage!

4 – New Food Truck Opens at Disney Springs

On Friday, March 29, a new food truck opened on the West Side of Disney Springs. The Mac & Cheese food truck offers five different mac & cheese entrees ranging in price from $8-$11. The portions were generous, very tasty, and filling. We enjoyed the Chicken Parmesan Macaroni & Cheese and the Six-Cheese Crunchy Macaroni and Cheese. Chad is eager to try the Barbeque Brisket Macaroni & Cheese. The food truck was very busy opening day. We expect this one to be popular as more people discover it. You can find the food trucks next to Starbucks on the West Side. Hours of the food trucks vary by day, so be sure to check your My Disney App for the hours before you visit. Check out the photos of our visit below.

5 – More Dates Added to Popular Disney After Hours Events

We personally love going to the parks at night, and the Disney After Hours events are perfect for those night owls in the family and for those who are looking to get the most out of their Disney vacation. Now because of popular demand, Disney has added more dates for the events! Click here to learn more about the new dates and read our review of the Hollywood Studios After Hours event!

6 – Testing Continues on the Disney Skyliner

Almost daily testing of the Disney Skyliner can be seen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. On our Instagram account, we posted a video a few weeks back of the Skyliner in action. It moves a lot faster than you would expect. Disney has removed some of the wrappings on a few gondolas. We were able to get a close-up shot of one of the gondolas that had its air vents open. We know there will not be air conditioning in the gondolas and the air vents may or may not do much about the heat inside the cars during the hot summer months. Debate continues, and we will not know how comfortable the rides will be until it opens, which, as of now, will be opening fall 2019. Click here to catch up on everything we know so far about the Disney Skyliner.

To see a close up of the gondola with air vents open, click here to see our Instagram post.


7 – Changes Coming to the ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

ABC Commissary is one the quick service restaurants within the Hollywood Studios, and now Disney has announced it will be getting a few significant upgrades that you don’t want to miss out on if you plan on visiting the park later this summer. The most significant change is that the restaurant is offering reservations for dinner hours. Click here to learn more about these changes.

8 – Disney Announces Opening Date of New Disney Springs Experience

Disney Springs has been undergone a huge transformation over the last few years, and Disney has announced the opening date for the new experience that will replace Disney Quest. Hint! It involves sports! Click here to learn more!

Credit: Disney

9 – What’s New at Disney Water Parks This Spring

As we move into April, temperatures are heating up, and that means that guests will want to check out the two amazing Disney water parks. Starting this Spring, new food items and a new bundled package is available for guests to enjoy! Click here to learn more!

10 – Disney Announces Special Dream Cruises Returning This Summer

It’s no secret that Disney Cruises are amazing. Now Disney has announced that their Special Dream Cruises will be returning this summer with even more fun at Castaway Cay! Click here to learn more about these Dream Cruises!

11 – Disney’s Riviera Resort Sales Now Open for Current DVC Members

Disney Vacation Club announced that sales of the all-new Disney’s Riviera Resort are now open exclusively for Disney Vacation Club Members until April 15, 2019. Sales will open to the general public after the 15th. Projected to open December 16, 2019, at Walt Disney World Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort will be the 15th Disney Vacation Club property and will immerse guests in the grandeur and enchantment of the European Riviera. Disney’s Riviera Resort will be the first all-new, stand-alone Disney Vacation Club property at Walt Disney World since 2004. Click here for more details on the new resort.

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Chad & Cindy Nykamp

After years of multiple Walt Disney World vacations, Cindy and Chad's dream of living in Orlando came true in 2010. After friends and family made them their go-to-people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Chad and Cindy have been Disney World Annual Passholders for years, DVC members, together have raced more than 70 runDisney races, and particularly love cruising on the Disney Cruise Line. Chad and Cindy also regularly represent DisneyLists.com at Walt Disney World media events. While attending these events, they get an insiders view of all the new things that have come to Walt Disney World. These experiences have helped them gain knowledge and expertise they happily pass on to their followers. They still can't believe how lucky they are to have such an amazing opportunity and will continue to share Disney with anyone who will listen!
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