Home / News / NEWS ROUNDUP – New Restaurants and Lounges Announced, Big Epcot Changes Coming, Water Park News & More!

NEWS ROUNDUP – New Restaurants and Lounges Announced, Big Epcot Changes Coming, Water Park News & More!

The opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland in California has understandably dominated the Disney new cycle this week. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty happening here at Disney World. This week, there were several dining related announcements including new resort restaurants and lounges, along with great new sweet treats coming for the month of June. Disney Cruise line announced some new entertainment coming to the Disney Fantasy. PhotoPass is also expanding its services, and there’s some great water park-related news and openings as well. Catch all these news stories and more in our weekly news roundup.


1 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Opens at Disneyland Park

After years of anticipation and construction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now open at Disneyland Park. A special Grand Opening Ceremony was held May 29, 2019, that featured some very special guests! Click here to learn more about the ceremony, including video of the event!

Learn all about the only Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction that is open now—Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run by clicking here. (Rise of the Resistance will open later this year).

Follow the links to learn all about what you need to know about Galaxy’s Edge, as well as dining and the special merchandise found in the new land.

We CAN’T WAIT until it opens here in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on August 29!

2 – New Sweet Treats Available at Walt Disney World

There is certainly never a shortage of sweet treats at Disney World, but hey, we’ll take more. In addition to all of the classic treats that are available year-round, Disney has been offering some seasonal treats for a limited time. This June there is a new cupcake, a plant-based cashew cheesecake, and some very special waffle ice-cream toppers. Click here for photos and information on where to find them!

3 – Disney Announces New Restaurants and Two Lounges Opening This Summer

Disney’s Coronado Springs has been undergoing construction on an expansion of the resort, Gran Destino Tower, that will open next month. In addition to the already announced restaurant, Toledo – Tapas, Steaks & Seafood, Disney has announced another restaurant and two lounges that will open in the new tower. Click here for all the information!

Credit: Disney

4 – Disney PhotoPass Service Hits Disney Water Parks this Summer

With the daily temperatures now in the 90s, it’s the perfect time to hit the Disney Water Parks. While you are enjoying the slides, you’ll be able to create some memories as well! The Disney PhotoPass photographers will be around the water parks catching your smiles and action on the slides. Here are all the details from Disney Cast Member Emily Southard:

When splashing around Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park or Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park, it is easy to get tide up in the moment. Wave your worries goodbye and let Disney PhotoPass Service capture your memories from Memorial Day through Labor Day as you enjoy fun in the sun at Walt Disney World Resort Water Parks.

You’re shore to love this. Disney PhotoPass Service photographers will capture magical memories at select locations and Character Experiences around the water parks as you get swept away by rushing rapids, float on calming waters and slide into swells of fun!

Photographers will even capture your photos with characters at Disney H20 Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park.

But don’t just let your photo memories float on by. With Memory Maker, you can take home easy-to-share digital downloads of all your Disney PhotoPass vacation photos captured at over 100 Walt Disney World Resort locations, including photos captured at Disney water parks.*

So water you waiting for! Plummet down to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park for some surf, sand and splash-tastic memories with Disney PhotoPass Service.

*Disney PhotoPass Service and Memory Maker are subject to the applicable terms and policies. Includes photos taken during the applicable Memory Maker Window as defined in such terms (generally, photos taken (i) within one day for Memory Maker One Day or (ii) within 30 days from the date of first activation for standard Memory Maker). A MagicBand is required to receive certain attraction photos and other digital content. Online registration required. Disney PhotoPass Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the expiration policy. Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice. Valid theme park admission required for certain photo locations.

5 – H2O Glow Nights Now at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon this Summer

One of our favorite events to enjoy during the summer is H2O Glow Nights at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon. This special ticketed event runs every Thursday and Saturday now through August 24. We went last year and have already been to one this year. We had so much fun. It’s a great way to experience the water park without lines, the crazy heat, and there’s no need for sunscreen! Our full review will be up soon, but click here to find out the 7 reasons you need to check out H2O Glow Nights This Summer!


6 – Announcements on Epcot Updates Coming to D23 Expo in August 2019

The D23 Expo takes place every two years, and we usually get some big announcements in regards to future developments at Disney Parks. This week, Disney confirmed that we’ll learn about some big plans for Epcot during the Expo this August. Disney Cast Member Thomas Smith shares more:

We’re just under three months away from the D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim, where we will be unveiling more of our transformative plans for Epcot. To whet your appetite, here are three things to look forward to.

  • The park’s core reimagined: You’ve already heard about the transformation taking place just inside the park’s entrance, where we will be enhancing the area with lush green spaces and classic touches. At the Expo, we’ll share more about what’s coming to the core of the park on the opposite side of Spaceship Earth. New areas will be flanking the iconic attraction, and we can’t wait to share the details with you.

Credit: Disney

  • A new – but classic – look to match our offerings: Longtime fans of Epcot are familiar with the pavilion icons, like the ones you see here for Imagination!, The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends. With new experiences like the previously announced play-themed pavilion joining these Epcot staples, don’t you think we need some new icons to match? More will be revealed at the Expo!
  • More about what makes Epcot, Epcot – Epcot is special for a lot of reasons – as one of Walt’s final projects, as an exclusive part of the Walt Disney World Resort, and as home to millions of memories from generations of guests. As we charge ahead with the park’s evolution, the architects of Epcot’s future are working to preserve all the elements that make this park so special while also evolving it to be more Disney, more family, more relevant and more timeless. At the Expo, you’ll hear more about experiences that are uniquely Epcot – for example, the updated films coming to Future World and World Showcase, as well as new dining experiences being added to the menu of ‘the foodie park.’

Well, there you go – three things to tide you over in the three months leading up to the D23 Expo.

7 – New Entertainment Coming to the Disney Fantasy on the Disney Cruise Line

If you’ve ever sailed on the Disney Cruise Line, you know that the entertainment, you’ll find on the ship is fantastic. The three shows we saw on our last Disney Cruise were the highlight of the trip! Disney has announced new entertainment coming to the Disney Fantasy this year, and we couldn’t be more excited! Click here to find out what’s coming!

8 – ABC Commissary Re-Opens After Refurbishment with New Look

After a short refurbishment, ABC Commissary at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now open with a brand-new look. The restaurant received new décor and other touches. All new carpeting, tables, and chairs give the restaurant a nice new look. There are still a few ABC TV show posters and movie items in the restaurant. We’re particularly excited about the new self-serve beverage stations on both sides of the dining room. If you’re looking to dine at ABC Commissary for dinner, you’ll now need reservations. Dinner is now a “fast-casual dinner” service. Click here to read the news story announcing this change for more information.

9 – Walkway Connecting Future World West and World Showcase Closing for Refurbishment This Week

The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival ends on June 3. Disney is taking advantage of a festival free Epcot to work on Rose Walk, the path near the Imagination Pavilion that connects Future World West and the World Showcase promenade. The path will close on June 4 for refurbishment. The walkway is expected to be widened to allow for a better guest flow. We expect the refurbishment to be completed in time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival on August 29.

Credit: Margaritaville Resort Orlando

10 – Island H2O Live Opening at Margaritaville Resort Orlando This Week

Orlando’s newest and most immersive water park, Island H2O Live! will open for preview days from June 5 – June 20, 2019. Be among the first to check out Island H2O Live! and enjoy $5 off day tickets and the opportunity to purchase an annual pass at a reduced price of $69.99+tax (Act fast, as the price will be going up to $89.99 very soon!) During Preview Days, daily passes must be purchased at the water park ticket windows only.

Island H2O Live! will bring an unparalleled water park experience to its guests, by combining cutting-edge technology, unlimited thrills, as well as relaxation options for everyone. A new RFID wristband system will allow guests to personalize their music and light experiences on select rides, capture photos, win points, and share via their social media. Over 20 different experiences, including a wave pool, kids’ area, group raft rides, slides and lazy river will round-out the enlivened experience for all ages.

“We are thrilled to welcome our first guests to Island H2O Live and have them enjoy this new, innovative and immersive water park,” said Jim Kunau. “Whether you’re an influencer and thrill-seeker looking to conquer stomach-churning slides, or a family wanting to splash around in a kid-friendly zone, Island H2O Live! offers something for everyone.”

Island H2O Live! is within walking distance or a short trolley ride to Margaritaville Hotel, Margaritaville Cottages, and Sunset Walk, the resort’s retail, dining, and entertainment district featuring more than 30 offerings including Studio Movie Grill, Yeoman’s Cask & Lion, Ford’s Garage, Bento Café, Rock & Brews, BurgerFi, Skechers, and so much more.

For more information, please visit or follow Island H2O Live! on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @islandh2olive.

Margaritaville Resort Orlando, the mega-resort destination in Kissimmee, Florida, developed by Encore Capital Management, spans over 300-acres and includes four main components: Margaritaville Hotel, Margaritaville Cottages, Sunset Walk retail, dining, and entertainment district and Island H2O Live! Water Park. Two styles of accommodations are available to visitors – the Margaritaville Hotel, which features upscale amenities and balconies in each of 184 guestrooms, or the Margaritaville Cottages, private residences that offer the comforts of home – both of which provide a premium experience and friendly, genuine island-inspired service. For those wishing to turn their time in paradise into a permanent address, the option to own a private vacation cottage home is available as well. Within walking distance or a short trolley ride from the hotel is Sunset Walk, where guests may experience dozens of exciting dining, retail and entertainment options, including a dine-in movie theater. Just in time for summer, Island H2O Live! will make waves as Central Florida’s newest and most technologically advanced water park including 20 thrilling and interactive experiences, attractions and much more. Margaritaville Resort Orlando makes it easy for guests to explore the best of the destination as well, with complimentary transportation to area theme parks for all registered guests. For hotel or cottage reservations or more information, please call 855-995-9099 or visit For information on purchasing a vacation cottage, please call 407-537-9298

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!