Home / News / NEWS ROUNDUP: New Hotel Opens, Attraction Opening Date Announced, Blizzard Beach Growing?, New Brunch at Disney Springs, Tons of New Merchandise, Cruise News & More

NEWS ROUNDUP: New Hotel Opens, Attraction Opening Date Announced, Blizzard Beach Growing?, New Brunch at Disney Springs, Tons of New Merchandise, Cruise News & More

Disney World has been on a building spree and many of those projects are finally at or near completion. This past week Gran Destino Tower opened, and we got sneak peek. Also, Disney has announced the opening date of the highly anticipated Rise of the Resistance. On the other side of property, a brand new and delicious Bayou Brunch was announced at House of Blues. We were surprised by an unannounced, overnight change in Tomorrowland, and we also got a strong hint that new things coming to Blizzard Beach. There is a slew of new merchandise celebrating Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, The 30thAnniversary of The Little Mermaid and more, and Disney Cruise Line received a special honor. All this and more below in this week’s Disney World news round up.


1 – Gran Destino Tower Opens at the Re-Imagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

This week we enjoyed an overnight stay at the brand-new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Gran Destino Tower takes its name from the surrealistic Disney animated film “Destino.” You’ll find the design and architecture of the Tower have been influenced by the film. The Tower is stunning and is a terrific addition to Coronado Springs. A stay at Gran Destino Tower feels like a stay at a deluxe resort, with moderate resort prices. Learn more about the re-imagined resort at the links below.

Click here for our review of the Tower including photos and video links.

Click here to learn more about dining at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Click here for our Instagram Story with tons of photo and video!

2 – Disney Announces Opening Date of Most Advanced Attraction Ever Built – Rise of the Resistance

We are getting closer to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next month!  We couldn’t be more excited to finally be able to step into the incredible world of Batuu. One of the attractions, Star Wars-Rise of the Resistance, will not open in August with the rest of the new land. Disney made the decision to open the rest Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge early, with Rise of the Resistance opening later in the year. We now have details on when the attraction will open! Click here to learn more!

3 – New Bayou Brunch Coming to The House of Blues Orlando

Looking for another great brunch option? On the West Side of Disney Springs, The House of Blues Orlando will be offering a new Bayou Brunch every Saturday and Sunday in the Restaurant and Bar. The Bayou Bruch will begin Saturday, August 3 from 10 am-1 pm. Here are all the details from the website:

Credit: House of Blues

Feed Your Soul with Toe-Tappin’ Live Music by Brown Bag Brass Band Trio, Bottomless Brunch Beverages, and a Feast of Made-From-Scratch, Southern-Inspired Favorites!

The buffet is $33 for adults (10+) and $15 for children (3-9), Children under 3 are free
Alcohol, Tax, and Gratuity not included

Regular menu available at 11:30 AM

Featured Menu Items:

  • Salads and More: Southern Salad, Caesar Salad, Fresh Fruit, Peel and Eat Shrimp
  • Breakfast: Omelet Station, Scrambled Eggs, Candied Bacon, Andouille Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy, Chicken & Waffles
  • Lunch: Chicken Tacos, Pork Tacos, Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee, Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread, Carving Station with Ham and Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Seasonal Vegetables
  • Desserts: Bourbon Bread Pudding, Assorted Desserts

4 – Tomorrowland Bridge Entrance Sign Removed

This week we were surprised to discover that the Tomorrowland Bridge Entrance Sign has been removed. The bridge will remain open, and a new redesigned sign will be installed later this summer. Disney is busy getting ready for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary and the new Tron coaster, so they are giving Tomorrowland a fresh new look.

5 – Blizzard Beach Closing for Extended Refurbishment

Every year the water parks close for their annual refurbishment. This year, Blizzard Beach will be closed for about six weeks longer than usual. The park will be closed from September 8, 2019-January 5, 2020. Disney has not announced any updates or enhancements, but we are expecting some to be made. We’ll bring you details as soon as we hear something.


6 – New Light-Up Headband Celebrating ‘IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth’ Now Available at Epcot

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth will be ending its almost twenty-year run at Epcot this September. Of course, there is exclusive merchandise celebrating the beloved nighttime spectacular. This week Disney announced that they were adding a special headband! Cast Member Thomas Smith has all the details below:

Recently, we shared a special look at new limited-time merchandise celebrating the farewell season of “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at Epcot. Now, you can purchase a new light-up Minnie headband that is joining the farewell merchandise collection!

Credit: Disney

The Minnie headband features a stylish bow-tie with a firework-inspired design and light-up ears. It’s now available at Mouse Gear in Epcot while supplies last.

After grabbing your new “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” headband and collectibles, you can experience the nighttime spectacular like never before when you book the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party at Epcot World Showcase with water-side viewing of the show. You can also book a delectable dinner with the IllumiNations Dining Package offering incredible views of the show from the lakefront patio at Rose & Crown Dining Room.

As many of you know, for nearly 20 years, “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” has entertained millions as the nighttime spectacular that brought each day at Epcot to a thrilling close. The show’s final night will be September 30, to make way for an all-new, limited-time spectacular, “Epcot Forever,” debuting October 1.

7 – Disney Cruise Line the ‘World’s Best’ According to Travel + Leisure Readers

Anyone who has gone on a Disney Cruise knows how amazing they are! We absolutely loved our Disney Cruise and can’t wait to go on another one. Not surprisingly, we’re not the only ones who love cruising with Disney. The cruise line recently won a special award. Disney Cast Member Mari Mendez has all the details below:

Whether it’s our unique brand of magical fireworks at sea, the unforgettable all-day family fun on the beaches at Castaway Cay, or the adventure of ocean cruising aboard our classic ships – the readers of Travel + Leisure agree that Disney Cruise Line is the “World’s Best.” They chose us as the No. 1 Ocean Cruise Line among those carrying 2,200 passengers or more as part of the publication’s annual World’s Best Awards.

Credit: Disney

Through this annual survey, thousands of Travel + Leisure readers pick their favorite destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, tour operators, rental-car agencies, cruise lines and more. The results will be published in the August issue and are available online now at

Of course, all the credit goes to the thousands of Disney Cruise Line Crew and Cast Members. After all, they’re the reason why Disney Cruise Line has been recognized with hundreds of distinguished awards from the travel industry since first setting sail in 1998. As our president, Jeff Vahle, says, “they are the secret to our magic!”

Service was among the list of criteria readers used to rate Disney Cruise Line, as well as staterooms, food, destinations, excursions, and value. As one reader put it, “The best part of the cruise was the service that we received. The waiters knew exactly what my kids liked after the first night. They were attentive to detail, kind, and entertaining.”

There are so many things to be excited about when it comes to the Disney Cruise Line! Not only are we building three new ships and developing a new private island, next year we add New Orleans as a home-port and make highly anticipated returns to the Hawaiian Islands, Puerto Rico, and Greece. What excites you most about the future Disney Cruise Line?


8 – Dive Into the 30th Anniversary of the ‘Little Mermaid’ with New Merchandise Collection

‘The Little Mermaid’ is almost 30 years old! We love Ariel and the joy she has brought to so many people over these many years. To celebrate Disney has announced a new merchandise collection! Thomas Smith has all the details below:

Can you believe it’s been almost 30 years since Disney Princess Ariel and her under the sea friends made their debut in “The Little Mermaid” on the big screen? On November 17, the Walt Disney Animation Studios classic film will turn 30, but this summer we are making a splash at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort with a new collection celebrating the 30th anniversary!

Credit: Disney

First up, featured above is a swimmingly fun Minnie Mouse ear headband featuring translucent sequins and vibrant seashells with the quote: “mermaid hair, don’t care!”

Life truly is the bubbles under the sea, and now your life can be filled with them, too! Shell-abrate good times with a shell-encrusted bubble wand!

Credit: Disney

Grab a mug or tumbler to be the girl who has everything and quench your thirst while you explore the world above!


Credit: Disney

Got mermaid hair? Let the human world know that you’re no poor unfortunate soul when you rock this hat.


Credit: Disney

Make Ariel “part of your world” and fill this fin-tastic journal with your wildest dreams.

That isn’t everything, though. We have gadgets and gizmos aplenty, including a phone case, luggage tag, backpack and plenty of other thingamabobs to flip your fins to!

All of these treasures and more are now available across merchandise locations at both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Not visiting Disney Parks & Resorts anytime soon? You’re in luck! The Minnie ear headband is also available on with more items from the collection coming soon.

9 – Summer Just Got Sweeter at Goofy’s Candy Co. at Disney Springs

I love cotton candy and it is one of my favorite snacks to get in the Disney parks. Now at Goofy’s Candy Co., you can get special flavors all year long! Disney Cast Member Kelsey Noland has all the details below:

Those of you that visited Disney Springs last holiday season probably came across new gourmet cotton candy offerings inside the Christmas Tree Trail. Our cast members were serving up fresh, made-to-order cotton candy on the spot including favorite holiday flavors like Candy Cane, Eggnog, and Gingerbread Man. Today, I’m happy to share that this popular new snack is here to stay all year long at Goofy’s Candy Co. at Disney Springs!

Credit: Disney

The best part? You don’t have to wait until the holidays to indulge again. You’ll still find holiday flavors on the menu plus new summer additions including: Sweet Mesquite, Root Beer, Sour Apple, Strawberry Banana and Key Lime.

Ordering is as simple as 1,2,3!

  1. Simply step inside Goofy’s Candy Co. to the cotton candy making station (you’ll spot it in the back corner behind the candy-making area.)
  2. Order your favorite gourmet cotton candy flavor and watch as it’s made right in front of you.
  3. Indulge in fluffy deliciousness. (Don’t forget to snap a photo before your first bite!)

Credit: Disney

If you’re looking for something to beat the summer heat, Goofy’s Glaciers continue to be a guest favorite with over 7 flavors to choose from. (Mixing and matching is encouraged!) Try the “Goofy Glacier Apple,” “Orange You Happy Orange” and “Powerade® Mountain Blast” combination to create a glacier that matches Goofy’s signature colors. Guests 21 and older can indulge in the new Frozen Glaciers featuring your choice of Vodka, Rum, Whiskey, or Tequila for an additional cost.

Credit: Disney

If you’re the ultimate Disney foodie, be sure to check out the newest phone case design from Otterbox for iPhone X or Xs. This trendy new case features artwork from the Disney D-Lish merchandise collection and includes an integrated Popsocket. (Perfect for selfies!) You can find this case at D-Tech on Demand at Marketplace Co-Op just a short walk away from Goofy’s Candy Co.

10 – Disney Gift Card had Found Bo Peep’s Sheep

Disney Gift Cards have always been a fun way to add a little magic when it comes to buying treats, merchandise, or other items within the parks and resorts. Now you can find a set of Bo’s sheep on a new Disney Gift Card. Cast Member Allison Friedlander has all the details below:

As I took my seat in the movie theater a few weeks ago to see “Toy Story 4,” I had one burning question. It wasn’t about the enigma that is Forky, or how Bo Peep and Woody would (finally!) be reunited, it was about Billy, Goat and Gruff. That’s right. Those fluffy sheep that shared a lamp with Bo Peep were all I could think about! Are they a three-headed sheep or three sheep molded together in porcelain? Have they had names this whole time? And finally, what happened to them? I’m sure plenty of you are familiar with the “Little Bo Peep” nursery rhyme, and my greatest fear was that our beloved Bo Peep would lose her sheep. Luckily, you can find these three fleecy girls all over “Toy Story 4” merchandise, and now, on a very special Disney Gift Card.

Credit: Disney

This summer offering is available only throughout Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. The design features Billy, Goat, and Gruff, the unsung heroines of one of my favorite franchises, now adorned with stickers to reinforce their delicate porcelain as they perform not-so-delicate stunts all over the carnival grounds. And because nothing is too good for these sheep, the stars on our Disney Gift Card are treated with glitter so they sparkle in the sun!

Activate with as little as $15 and use to pay for practically all things Disney! Perhaps you want to give your little ones (or yourself!) a budget; a Disney Gift Card gives them the freedom to pay for that “Toy Story 4” plush or cool summer treat they want, while giving them a keepsake of their trip! If the young ones (or the young at heart) have money left on the card at the end of your trip, no worries! A Disney Gift Card can hold up to $1,000 and never expire, so feel free to use your remaining balance to shop at a Disney Store near you, on, or save your Disney Gift Card until your next Disney Parks vacation!

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!