NEWS ROUNDUP: New Epcot Attraction, Animal Kingdom Land Re-Opening, Cars Coming to Hollywood Studios, New Ears & More

There has been a ton of news this week from Disney World! Epcot is getting a new attraction. Animal Kingdom will be re-opening a land we have grown to love. Over at Hollywood Studios, a brand new Cars show is about to debut and the parking lot continues to be transformed and gets some new “character” as well. Disney’s ‘Walk Around the World’ bricks are being retired. Disney Fashion lovers will be happy to hear that a new collection will be available soon. To learn more about all this exciting news and more, read below!


1 – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Announces Re-Opening of Animal Kingdom Land

With the news that Rafiki’s Planet Watch was closing many people were worried that the closing would be permanent, but Disney has confirmed that the land will be reopening better than ever! To learn more about the changes coming and some new theming, click here!

2 – New Attraction Coming to Epcot

Disney has already announced some significant changes coming to Epcot over the last few weeks. This week brought news of a new attraction coming to The Land Pavilion in Future World! To learn more, click here!

3 – More Cars Fun at Disney Hollywood Studios

Speaking of new attractions, more Cars fun is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Cast Member Shawn Slater has all the details below:

When Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy speeds into Disney’s Hollywood Studios on March 31, the world of Disney•Pixar’s “Cars” will unfold all around you, and the fun and excitement extend beyond the show into the courtyard outside Sunset Showcase, with special entertainment, photo ops, and more.

Piston Cup Champion Cruz Ramirez is stopping by to meet and take photos with all her fans, and DJ, the ultimate party on wheels, has hit the open road and made his way east, bringing his own incredible music mix to liven things up.

Several times daily, things kick into gear for “DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!” as Lightning McQueen’s Pit Crew arrives on the scene, getting everyone around DJ engaged in entertaining “Cars”-inspired dances and games. It all makes for some high-octane fun, starting March 31 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

4 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios Parking Lot Adds More ‘Character’

With the transformation of Hollywood Studios parking lot, Disney has announced the renaming of the different sections of the parking lot. Cast Member Jennifer Fickly-Baker has all the details below:

Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot just got a lot more character! Each section of the lot has been renamed after beloved characters guests can encounter on their adventures in the park: Mickey, Minnie, Jessie, Buzz, Olaf, and BB-8. Two additional bus loops, just steps away from the main entrance, also have been added to serve guests arriving via Disney resort bus transportation. These milestones are an important step in the multi-phased transformation of the guest arrival experience at the park, which began last year with a new entrance allowing guests to enter the park from Osceola Parkway. Construction continues on refreshed parking tram lanes and walkways, additional screening areas and a station for Disney Skyliner. These exciting enhancements set the stage for a historic year at the park, which will include the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.


5 – Disney’s Walk Around the World’ Bricks to be Retired

When walking up to the Magic Kingdom, you may have found yourself looking down and reading all the bricks with different names, dates and celebrations. While this has been a part of the entrance experience of Magic Kingdom for many years, the project is now being retired. Cast Member Thomas Smith has all the details below:

As many readers know, exciting improvements are being made to how you come and go at all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks. This includes reconfiguring walkways, and tram loading and unloading zones and more. We’re also enhancing security by adding more bag screening stations, metal detectors and other measures to aid in the screening of guests. As work continues to transform the arrival experience, the bricks from “Disney’s Walk Around the World” near Magic Kingdom Park and the Transportation and Ticket Center will begin to be retired in the coming months. These bricks were sold with the commitment that they would be displayed until 2011. Since the bricks were not designed to be removed individually, they will not be available to take home. Instead, guests who sponsored a brick may purchase a commemorative version between now and Aug. 31, 2019, or while supplies last. If you sponsored a brick and would like to get a souvenir version, here’s what to do:

If visiting in person:

Stop by City Hall at Magic Kingdom Park or Guest Relations at Disney Springs to verify your previous brick by sharing the name and hometown of the Guest who sponsored it.

After verification, you will be given a one-time use voucher to present by, or before Aug. 31, 2019, at Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. (at Magic Kingdom Park – separate theme park admission required) or the Marketplace Co-Op (at Disney Springs), enabling you to purchase one commemorative 6” brick at a special price of $10 (plus tax).

If guests need to contact us virtually:

Email guest.services@disneyworld.com or call 407-828-2701 with the name and hometown of the guest who sponsored the brick.

After verification, you will be provided a code to use by, or before Aug. 31, 2019, on shopDisney.com to purchase one commemorative 6” brick at a special price of $10 (plus tax and shipping) starting this spring. Please note, this code is for one-time use and will only be valid on shopDisney.com and may not be redeemed in person or at any other location. (Limit one voucher or code per verified guest.)

For Guests who did not participate in the original “Disney’s Walk Around the World” program but would like to purchase a personalized brick, souvenir bricks are available to customize and purchase starting at $29.99 (plus tax and optional shipping). These are on sale now at Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. at Magic Kingdom Park (separate theme park admission required to enter) or the Marketplace Co-Op (at Disney Springs), or later on shopDisney.com starting this spring.

Credit: Disney

6 – New Briar Rose Gold Collection Set to Debut April 1st

In the last couple of years, Disney has stepped up the fashion side with some amazing ears and apparel inspired by many of our favorite characters. Disney has announced the new Briar Rose line starting April 1st. Cast Member Jennifer Fickly-Baker has all the details below:

Disney fashionistas take note: a brand-new Briar Rose Gold Collection is set to debut at the Walt Disney World Resort on April 1, inspired by Princess Aurora (aka Briar Rose) from “Sleeping Beauty!”

A Briar Rose Gold Minnie Mouse ear headband, Spirit Jersey, and tumbler are on their way to merchandise locations at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Briar Rose Gold Collection is just the latest in a line of fun colors inspired by hot fashion trends, like rose gold, millennial pink and Potion Purple.

Here’s a sneak peek at the new items.

Guests who wish to purchase the traditional Rose Gold Minnie Mouse ear headbands – the very first in this trendy line of fashion-forward Minnie Mouse ear headbands that no true Disney fan is complete without – before they’re gone from our parks, should do so by the end of March. They are available at locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort.

7 – Sneak Peek of Art Coming to Disney’s Riviera Resort

Walt loved European art and now Disney has announced that Disney’s Riviera Resort will feature European style art with a twist. Cast member Jessica Quinn has all the details below:

On his extended tours of Europe, Walt fell in love with European art, architecture, food and, of course, stories. And now we’re so excited to share that the art in Disney’s Riviera Resort will reflect a European theme with a Disney twist!

We’ve been talking about these awesome unique, Disney touches for the past few months and today we get to share with you a sneak peek of some of the European-themed art and décor that will be throughout the proposed Disney’s Riviera Resort when it opens in Fall 2019! Part of our sneak peek today is to show you some of the pieces as they will be displayed in some of the villas at the upcoming 15th Disney Vacation Club Resort.

Credit: Disney

Throughout the resort and within the villas, you’ll get to experience a variety of art types including Disney concept art with European settings, posters of Disney films as released in Europe, archival photography of Walt’s travels throughout the region, and references to the ephemera and book titles Walt gathered on his journeys.

Credit: Disney

Additionally, and this is a part of our sneak peek today, there will be more than 40 signature art pieces created just for Disney’s Riviera Resort featuring unique Disney character art inspired by the renowned artistic heritage found along the shores of the European Riviera. You’ll get to see so many of your favorite Disney characters reflected in the newly created master artistry, including Mickey and Minnie, and characters from “Beauty and the Beast,” Disney’s “Peter Pan,” “The Aristocats,” Disney●Pixar film “Ratatouille,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Moana,” “Tangled,” “101 Dalmatians” and more.

Credit: Disney

And the names of the paintings are so fun! I love “Interior with Cats,” which highlights “The Aristocats” with Marie, Berlioz and Toulouse. And it is so fun to see Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Chip and Cogsworth in “Still Life with Teapot.”

So excited to see this amazing art created especially for Disney’s Riviera Resort guests to enjoy! Which pieces are you most excited to see?

Model rooms shown – furnishings subject to change.


8 – Find Out What’s New with ‘Disney at Sea with D23’

D23 is the ultimate Disney fan club, and D23 have drawn raving fans from around the world for an insider’s sneak peek at Disney parks news, movies, and more. Now D23 is bringing more magic to the high seas with a special event available on Disney Cruise Line voyages. Cast Member Johnathan Frontado has all the details below:

Curious about what’s new and what’s next with Disney? Those of you cruising with us can now get the scoop on all that Disney has in store—from theme parks to movies and beyond—in a new event onboard all of our ships, “Disney at Sea with D23.”

During the 30-minute entertainment news show this month, you’ll get a sneak peek at Disney’s most exciting developments, such as:

Advance looks at films like “Frozen 2,” “Aladdin,” Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame,” “The Lion King” and “Toy Story 4.”

Sneak peeks of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the thrilling Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! attraction coming to Hong Kong Disneyland and the new Zootopia-themed land coming to Shanghai Disneyland.

A preview of what’s to come at this year’s D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event. The best part about this show is that you’ll never see the same one twice! “Disney at Sea with D23” is updated every month as Disney continues to create dynamic new offerings for guests. Don’t miss “Disney at Sea with D23” on your next Disney cruise, and be sure to check your Disney Cruise Line Navigator when you get onboard for more details.

9 – Enter the shopDisney Now More Summer Fun Than Ever Sweepstakes

Want to win a Disney Vacation for four? Then this sweepstakes from Disney is for you. Cast Member Jennifer Fickly-Baker has all the details below:

shopDisney, the official Disney online shopping destination, is giving you a chance to win a grand-prize vacation for four to the Walt Disney World Resort where now, more than ever, there’s more to see, do, taste and experience.

The grand-prize winner will receive a five-day, four-night vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort for four, including airfare and ground transfers (if applicable), five-day theme park admission tickets with Park Hopper Plus Option for four people, a VIP tour guide for up to eight consecutive hours, a $500 Disney Gift Card and more. Read the full details and learn how to enter here.

Disclaimer: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter Sweepstakes between 3/21/19 at 12:00 PM PDT and 4/14/19 at 11:59 PM PDT. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18+ at time of entry. Limit 1 entry per person per day. Visit https://Disney.com/nmtesweepstakes for Official Rules including details on how to enter, eligibility requirements, odds of winning, prize descriptions and limitations. Void in Quebec and where prohibited. Sponsor: Disney Online, 1200 Grand Central Avenue, Glendale, CA 91201.

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.


Adelei Nykamp

Adelei Nykamp I have been a huge Disney fan as long as I can remember. My parents first took me to Walt Disney World in 2004 as a 4-year-old. Since then I have always loved going back as often as possible. I am a senior in high school and plan to study film in college.
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