Home / News / NEWS ROUNDUP: Illuminations End Announced, New Themed Lounge, Special Easter Offerings, Star Wars Land Details & More

NEWS ROUNDUP: Illuminations End Announced, New Themed Lounge, Special Easter Offerings, Star Wars Land Details & More

There’s a lot to look forward to at the Walt Disney World Resort! This week we learned the final date of Illuminations but got a preview of the new show that will replace it. We learned of a new themed lounge, cool Coke products that will be available at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and a preview of the upcoming Aladdin film! That’s what’s coming, but there’s plenty going on right now at Disney World! Easter is just around the corner, and there are special offerings to take advantage of, there’s a new ticket center at Disney Springs, and we share about our favorite restaurant ever now open at Disney Springs—seriously you need to check it out! All of these news stories and more are in this week’s news roundup! Keep reading below for all of the details!


1 – Last Illuminations Date Confirmed – Opening Date Announced for New Epcot Show

After twenty years, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will end this year. We all know and love the show, but sadly, the official date for the last show has been announced. However, guests can look forward to a brand-new show coming to Epcot. Click here to learn more!

2 – New Beauty and the Beast Themed Lounged Announced for Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is one of Disney’s best resorts with fantastic dining. After the closing of Mizner’s Lounge earlier this month, the future of the lounge was unclear. Disney has recently announced an all-new theme for this lounge, and it’s got a lot of people excited. Click here for all the information.

3 – Jaleo at Disney Springs and Other Great Food at Disney World

This past Thursday, we enjoyed a special media lunch at Jaleo. Chad and I have been fans of Jaleo for years, so we were thrilled to get a chance to enjoy the latest restaurant addition at Disney Springs. We continue to be impressed with Chef Jose Andres and believe this restaurant needs to be on your Disney dining bucket list! We just can’t say enough good things about it! Click here to read our full review with lots of photos!

Click here to view our Instagram Story from our lunch.

There’s more great food and restaurants to experience at Disney World right now. Click here for the April Best Bites guide for the Walt Disney World Resort!

4 – Celebrating Easter at Disney World

With just one week left until Easter, Disney World is offering limited time treats and offerings through next Sunday. At many Disney resorts like Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa and Disney’s Contemporary Resort, you can catch the annual Easter Egg display. The resort hotel’s pastry teams spend months designing and creating eggs to show off in the lobby. Much like the Gingerbread Houses during the holiday season, the eggs are something you don’t want to miss. Over at Magic Kingdom, you can now meet Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny. Click here to see a photo of them on our Instagram account. Finally, special treats are popping up as well. Over at the Norway Pavilion a “specialty cupcake,” is available now through Easter. This dessert is more mousse/cheesecake and has a lemon flavor. Click here to see the dessert on Instagram.

5 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

This weekend in Chicago, the Star Wars Celebration took place. We learned some new things about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. First up, it was announced that special designed Coca-Cola products are coming to the land. Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Scott Trowbridge:

From the engaging sights and sounds to the tantalizing tastes of Black Spire Outpost, everything within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has been carefully crafted to ensure an immersive experience that has never been seen before. We’ve previously shared that visitors will be able to discover otherworldly flavors at our many food and beverage locations, and today we’re excited to share a bit more about one of these unique elements that galactic travelers will only be able to find on their visit to Batuu.

As we were developing the incredible experiences that guests will explore when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, we knew that we wanted to create something truly special – something that will bring your own Star Wars adventure to life in a whole new way. We reached out to our friends at Coca-Cola, and along with Lucasfilm Ltd. came up with specially designed Coca-Cola bottles that are designed to fit authentically within the Star Wars universe.

We have a long history with Coca-Cola, dating back to the opening of Disneyland Park and the “Refreshment Corner” on Main Street, U.S.A. in 1955 and it’s a pleasure to continue to work with this amazing team on such a groundbreaking experience. These unique Coca-Cola products were created with storytelling in mind and are unlike anything we’ve done before – take a look:

I can’t wait for you to see this cool packaging for yourself – it’s sure to be in high demand throughout the galaxy!

Also, we got a look at some more of the merchandise that will be available in the new land. Check out the video below to see some of the new merchandise:


6 – Sneak Peek of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Coming Soon to Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line

Classic Disney movie lovers will be excited over the news that soon enough guests will have the opportunity of being able to have a sneak peek of the new live-action ‘Aladdin’ version of the movie we all know and love. Cast Member Shawn Slater has all the details below:

If you’ve been wishing to see more from Disney’s all-new live-action adventure, “Aladdin,” consider that wish granted! Check out this special message from two of the stars of the film, Will Smith and Mena Massoud.

For a limited time beginning April 19, you’ll get a special preview of scenes from “Aladdin” in sneak peeks planned for Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line. At Disneyland park, the preview of “Aladdin” will be presented at the Main Street Opera House in Town Square, while Disney’s Hollywood Studios will include this advance look at a portion of the film as part of the Walt Disney Presents attraction.

A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic, “Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie (“Sherlock Holmes,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”), who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, “Aladdin” is written by John August (“Dark Shadows,” “Big Fish”) and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.” The film stars Will Smith (“Ali,” “Men in Black”) as the larger-than-life Genie; Mena Massoud (“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”) as the charming scoundrel Aladdin; Naomi Scott (“Power Rangers”) as Jasmine, the beautiful, self- determined princess; Marwan Kenzari (“Murder on the Orient Express”) as Jafar, the powerful sorcerer; Navid Negahban (“Legion”) as the Sultan concerned with his daughter’s future; Nasim Pedrad (“Saturday Night Live”) as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s free-spirited best friend and confidante; Billy Magnussen (“Into the Woods”) as the handsome and arrogant suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar (“The Great Wall”) as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and captain of the palace guards.

Here’s a look at the latest trailer for Disney’s “Aladdin,” which opens in theaters on May 24, 2019.


7 – New Disney Ticket Center is Now Open at Disney Springs

If you’ve recently been to Guest Relations at Disney Springs, you know that it’s a popular place to get assistance for your vacation needs. When we last stopped by wait times were 20-30 minutes long. That’s why we’re very excited that Disney has opened a new dedicated ticket center at Disney Springs that will provide guests with a place to take care of any ticketing needs. Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Kelsey Noland.

You may recall when we opened Town Center at Disney Springs, we also opened the Welcome Center, a convenient and beautiful location for the Guest Relations team at the heart of our property. For the past four years, our cast members have been making magic and assisting with any and all guest needs, and I’m thrilled to share we’ve expanded our services to a new location called the Disney Ticket Center.

Conveniently located at Disney Springs Town Center near the Welcome Center and Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, this location is your new one-stop shop for most of your ticketing needs including the following:

  • Purchase Disney theme park tickets, make upgrades and pick up will call tickets (including special event tickets like Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party)
  • Purchase or renew Walt Disney World Resort Annual Passes
  • Purchase Military Salute tickets and upgrades
  • Make Disney Springs restaurant reservations

Still in need of general assistance? Don’t worry! Our Guest Relations team at the Welcome Center will continue to assist with lost and found items, currency exchange, and any general questions you may have to make your visit with us as hassle-free as possible.

The Disney Ticket Center operating hours are Sunday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 11:30 p.m.

8 – Wishing for New Pocket-Sized Friends this Spring? Introducing Disney Parks Wishables

Disney just announced their newest and cutest addition of merchandise available all around the Walt Disney World Resort! Pocket-Sized Wishables are your new go-to Disney buddy! Cast Member Michael Ramirez has all the details below:

Spring has sprung at Disney Parks, and with the new season comes an all-new, totally adorable addition to our merchandise offerings. Launching April 10 at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort are the must-have Disney Parks Wishables – soft and huggable friends inspired by iconic Disney characters, films, attractions and even snacks.

There’s no limit to the ways Disney Parks Wishables can bring magic to life! These collectible plushies are not only cuddly, but also make an adorable addition to any photo. Take them on your next Disney adventure, snap a pic and share with friends using #DisneyParksWishables.

This launch includes the likes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and friends, along with characters inspired by attractions such as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Pirates of the Caribbean. Even Mickey-shaped treats are part of the collection!

Find Disney Parks Wishables at select merchandise locations, including World of Disney at the Downtown Disney District in California and Disney Springs in Florida, as well as Follow along on social using #DisneyParksWishables.

Credit: Disney

9 – New Flower and Garden Festival Passholder-Exclusive Merchandise

Flower and Garden Festival has already been up and blooming for some time now, but Disney has released new Flower, and Garden Festival-themed merchandise exclusively for annual passholders! Cast member Jennifer Fickley-Baker has all the details below:

Starting today, Annual Passholders can find new merchandise created just for them at this year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

New passholder-exclusive items include a Tervis stem glass, Minnie mug, ladies tank top and baseball cap, as well as a Goofy mug, T-shirt and baseball cap. Passholders can present their annual pass card to receive a 20% discount. Merchandise available at Mouse Gear and Odyssey while supplies last.

Click here to see the new merchandise on our Instagram account.

While you’re at the festival, don’t forget to pick up your complimentary Daisy magnet* available today through June 3 or while supplies last. To pick yours up, stop into Mouse Gear or Port of Entry and show your valid annual pass card and photo ID.

Passholders can also make the most of their Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival experience by booking a Garden Rocks Concert Series dining package** at a 10% discount, which includes breakfast, lunch or dinner at a select Epcot restaurant, plus guaranteed seating at a Garden Rocks concert. This year’s concert lineup has added more than 20 new artists, plus returning favorites! Book these dining packages by calling (407) WDW-DINE.

Remaining acts at Garden Rocks Concert Series are:

  • April 14-16: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
  • April 17-19: Sister Hazel (NEW to Garden Rocks) “All For You”
  • April 20-21: Steven Curtis Chapman (NEW) “Cinderella”
  • April 22-23: TobyMac (NEW) “The Elements”
  • April 24-26: Lonestar “Amazed”
  • April 27-30: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
  • May 1-4: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII I Am”
  • May 5-7: Don Felder, Formerly of the Eagles “Hotel California”
  • May 8-9: A Flock of Seagulls (NEW) “I Ran (So Far Away)”
  • May 10-11: Marshall Tucker Band (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Heard It in a Love Song”
  • May 12-13 – Peabo Bryson (NEW), “If Ever You’re in My Arms Again”
  • May 14-15: Richard Marx (New to Garden Rocks) “Right Here Waiting”
  • May 16-19: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
  • May 20-21: Colin Hay of Men at Work (NEW) “Who Can It Be Now?”
  • May 22-23: War (NEW) “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
  • May 24-27: The Guess Who “American Woman”
  • May 28-29: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
  • May 30- June 1: Blood, Sweat and Tears “Spinning Wheel”
  • June 2-3 – Eddie Palmieri (NEW), “Vámonos Pa’l Monte”

*Not responsible for any lost, stolen or damaged magnets. Limit one Daisy magnet per Passholder. Available while supplies last. Must visit designated pickup location to receive the magnet. Must show your valid annual pass card and photo ID to receive the magnet.

**Discount applies to the regular price of food and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding applicable tax and gratuity) during available breakfast, lunch and dinner meal periods. Valid for the Passholder and up to three (3) guests. Not valid for special events and may not be combined with any other discount or offer.

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.


About 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 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 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!