Home / News / NEWS ROUNDUP: Win a FREE Disney Cruise, Beauty and the Beast Themed Lounge, Guardians Coaster Vehicle Reveal, New Year’s Eve Celebration at Animal Kingdom & More

NEWS ROUNDUP: Win a FREE Disney Cruise, Beauty and the Beast Themed Lounge, Guardians Coaster Vehicle Reveal, New Year’s Eve Celebration at Animal Kingdom & More

This week we got a bunch of teasers for things coming soon to the Disney World resort. Disney revealed the ride vehicles (which are unlike any rollercoaster vehicle you’ve ever seen), details and food photos from the new Beauty and the Beast-themed lounge, and a peek at the 2020 Marathon Weekend medals. Also, there’s a new contest to win a free Disney cruise. Make sure you enter (and take us with if you win)! Take a tour of Food and Wine Festival, check out the new color collection and bus wraps, and check out what’s coming to Animal Kingdom for New Year’s Eve. All this and more below.


1 – Ride Vehicles First Look for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Coaster Coming to Epcot

With all the changes coming to Epcot, the one we’re probably most excited about is the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster! Our love of Marvel and thrill rides are coming together in an attraction that sounds amazing. This week we got a first look at the new ride vehicles for the attraction that are unlike any rollercoaster you’ve ever seen.

Click here to see a video of what’s coming.

2 – More Details Announced for New Beauty & The Beast Themed Lounge Coming to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

If you love Beauty & the Beast, then you’ll be happy to hear that a new lounge inspired by the movie is almost ready to open at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This week Disney released more details about the menu and the lounge itself, along with some great food and drink photos.

Click here for all the details.

3 – Win a Holidays at Sea Cruise with Disney Cruise Line

A Disney Cruise Line vacation is an amazing experience on its own but add in the holidays, and it’s even more special. If you’ve ever dreamed of enjoying a holiday cruise, then you’ll want to enter the Set Sail with Santa Sweepstakes for a chance to celebrate the Holidays at Sea with Disney Cruise Line. Disney Cast Member Melanie Curtsinger shares more below:

Now’s the time to enter our Set Sail with Santa Sweepstakes for a chance to celebrate the holidays at sea! The grand prize is a four-night cruise to the Bahamas on the Disney Dream for you and up to three guests.

To enter, click here and sign into your account. Your chance to win ends on September 25.

Our Very Merrytime cruises are filled with holiday cheer including your favorite Disney characters in their holiday attire, festive onboard decorations, Santa’s Winter Wonderland Ball, a life-sized Gingerbread House and more.

Credit: Disney

On every Disney cruise to the Bahamas, you’ll experience Disney magic, the adventure of an ocean voyage and sun-drenched tropical beaches on our private island, Castaway Cay. Plus, you’ll enjoy Broadway-quality shows, deck parties with fireworks at sea, imaginative kid’s clubs and relaxing adult-only spaces, just to name a few. Don’t miss this chance for a holiday to remember!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter Sweepstakes between 8/28/19 at 12:00 PM PDT and 9/25/19 at 11:59 PM PDT. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18+ at time of entry. Limit 1 entry per person per day. See Official Rules for full details on how to enter, eligibility requirements, odds of winning, prize descriptions and limitations. Void in Quebec and where prohibited.


4 – Epcot Construction Update

Last week we shared the news of many closures around Epcot as the park gets ready for a massive overhaul and reimagining ahead of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary in 2021. Since then we’ve had a chance to visit Epcot and see the construction walls now up around the Fountain of Nations, Fountain View, and Club Cool. We also visited the new Epcot Character Spot for Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Check out the link below to see your favorite pals in their new location.

Click here to see our Instagram post of the new Epcot Character Spot with new backgrounds!

Click here for a complete rundown of what’s coming to the new Epcot including closures.


5 – Enjoy the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Now Through November 23

On Saturday, we enjoyed a Family Media Day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. We had so much fun eating and drinking our way around Epcot. We snapped a ton of merchandise photos and added them to our Instagram Story with prices (see link below) so you can plan ahead! We also had the chance to see a blast from our past, Tiffany, perform at the Eat to the Beat Concert! Finally, we got to enjoy one of the last performances of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, which is ending its long time run on September 30.

Click here to see Food & Wine merchandise photos with prices!

Click here to see our Instagram Story from our day at Epcot enjoying the Food & Wine Festival.

Click here to see the menu boards from the Marketplaces for prices and snack credits.

Click here to read our preview article to discover all that you can do at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.

6 – Arendalle Aqua Merchandise and Special Treats Now at Disney Parks

Move over Magic Mirror Metallic because there is a new Disney color collection out! This week, Disney Parks announced its newest color collection, Arendelle Aqua, which features an assortment of merchandise in addition to tasty sips and sweets. Inspired by the Academy Award-winning animated feature, Frozen, from Walt Disney Animation Studios. We’ve got the rundown on the new merchandise collection and the Foodie Guide to all the treats you can find at Walt Disney World.

Click here for all the details.

7 – Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2019 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Being able to be at a Disney Parks is always a great way to ring in the new year. Disney has announced that this year, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park will now be open until midnight, giving guests another great option on where to be to celebrate the new year! Disney Cast Member Jennifer Fickely-Baker has more details below.

Guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort this holiday season will “roar in” the New Year. That’s because Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park will be open until midnight to celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2019.

Throughout the night, you’ll find special New Year’s Eve-themed food and drinks, while DJs in Asia, Discovery Island and DinoLand U.S.A. will keep the party pumping!

As midnight approaches, everyone can gather around Discovery Island and Asia to watch a special New Year’s Eve countdown on the iconic Tree of Life. Energetic music and lighting displays will welcome in 2020.

Guests can also get into the fun with special pin trading opportunities, plus a limited-edition New Year’s Eve pin available that evening. Subject to change and based on availability.

The park’s New Year’s Eve celebration will cap off a thrilling season of all-new holiday experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Be on the lookout for festive new décor in every land, enjoy unforgettable winter projections on the Tree of Life, get into the holiday spirit with your favorite characters in DinoLand U.S.A. and more. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a place you will want to visit this holiday season!

To learn about everything happening at Walt Disney World on New Year’s Eve, visit


8 – runDisney 2020 Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed

runDisney’s Marathon Weekend is a popular race weekend that features races from the 5k distance through a marathon, along with two race challenges. We’ve enjoyed Marathon Weekend many times over the years, and it’s our favorite race weekend to tackle. This week we got a first look at the medals for the 2020 race weekend, and we’re so excited—they look amazing!

Click here to find out more.

9 – Even More New Character Wraps Added to Disney Buses

Earlier this summer we shared the news that Disney Buses are getting a whole new look with all-new character wraps. The first round of buses featured the sensational six: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto. Now Disney is expanding with even more new looks for the buses. Disney Cast Member Jennifer Fickely-Baker shares more below:

Early this summer we introduced you to a new look for some of our Walt Disney World buses, as the sensational six: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy, and Pluto hit the roadways. Since that time, I constantly find myself smiling back at these big, bright, and colorful designs featuring the character’s faces as they traverse Walt Disney World Resort providing guests with complimentary trips to their destinations.


As we roll on into September, we’re super excited to share even more buses featuring characters from some of the most beloved Disney films are joining the fleet. Now guests will be able to enjoy a ‘Hakuna Matata’ journey with Simba from Disney’s “The Lion King,” experience a whole lot of laughs with Mike and Sully from “Monsters, Inc.,” or see how far they’ll go with Moana – as these new designs full of character and fun hit the roads around Walt Disney World!

If that wasn’t enough…in the coming weeks keep an eye out for buses featuring characters from Disney’s “Frozen” and many more.

Credit: Disney

And, similar to the buses featuring the sensational six, these buses have those new blue seats and laminate floors throughout. Some of the buses will also have USB charging ports conveniently located between seats, so you can recharge your devices and not miss a moment of capturing and sharing your Disney vacation memories.

I just love these new buses! Let us know which of the new buses is your favorite, and which you plan to enjoy a ride on during your next Walt Disney World vacation.

10 – Sneak Peek of Disney’s ‘Maleficent Mistress of Evil’ Coming to Disney Parks

From time to time at Disney Parks, you can get sneak peeks of upcoming Walt Disney Studios films. Soon we’ll be able to get a look at Disney’s ‘Maleficent Mistress of Evil’. Disney Cast Member Shawn Slater shares more below.

Five years ago, the blockbuster live-action film “Maleficent” revealed the events that hardened the heart of Disney’s most notorious villain and drove her to curse baby Princess Aurora. This fall, the story continues in the all-new fantasy adventure, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” and soon, guests at Disney Parks will have a chance to preview scenes from the film.

For a limited time starting September 27, a sneak peek of Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” will be included as part of the Walt Disney Presents attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Disney California Adventure park, the sneak peek will be presented in the evenings at the Sunset Showcase Theater, following daily performances of Mickey’s PhilharMagic. This special opportunity will also be available aboard Disney Cruise Line and starting September 28 at Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris.

“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” picks up several years after “Maleficent,” exploring the complex relationship between the horned fairy and the soon to be Queen as they form new alliances and face new adversaries in their struggle to protect the moors and the magical creatures that reside within.

Here’s a look at the latest trailer for Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” which arrives in theaters on October 18, 2019.


Advance tickets for Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” are available [now] for purchase.

11 – Lake County’s East Ridge High School Recipient of $20,000 Gift from Walt Disney World Resort

Following a devastating fire at East Ridge High School that damaged band equipment, rehearsal space, and students’ personal instruments, the Central Florida community came together with an outpouring of support to help the students through the unexpected challenge.

To lend another helping hand, Walt Disney World Resort announced today a $20,000 donation to East Ridge High School to help their band march forward through the school year. The donation will contribute to new band equipment and instruments, helping make the students’ dream of restoring their band program come true.

“When we heard the news, we knew we needed to offer our support to East Ridge High School and help make the students’ dream of restoring the band program come true,” said Rena Langley, senior vice president of public affairs at Walt Disney World Resort. “We have been so inspired by the community response and are delighted to be part of making a difference.”

Music and arts programs, like the one at East Ridge High School, offer students a sense of teamwork, camaraderie, and the chance to share their spirit and talent with their local community. Walt Disney World Resort has a long-standing history of supporting such programs in Central Florida, encouraging youth to step into the spotlight by exploring their passions for the arts.

“We are so thankful to Walt Disney World Resort for this incredible gift for our students,” said Diane Kornegay, Lake County Schools superintendent. “To see a company of this magnitude come to the aid of students at a time of loss is truly touching. It will make a lasting difference for these young musicians and the overall band program at East Ridge High School.”

Lake County Schools is the 19th largest school district in the state of Florida, serving more than 40,000 students as part of their mission to prepare the next generation for secondary education and the workforce. Earlier this year, Walt Disney World Resort recognized three exceptional Lake County students as Disney Dreamers and Doers Shining Stars as part of their commitment to supporting youth development and education in the Central Florida community.

In addition to helping East Ride High School rebuild their band program, Walt Disney World has also invested more than $1 million in the local arts community in 2019 alone, and more than $6 million in the last five years.


What’s New & Coming Soon at Disney World!

It’s a very exciting time growth and development at Walt Disney World. In fact, there are so many new things opening, coming and happening, it’s hard to keep track. Here’s a cheat sheet to help keep things straight and make sure you haven’t missed anything.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Now Open

Click here for everything you need to know at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – Select Dates Now Through November 1

Click here for the 11 Can’t-Miss Experiences at the 2019 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Now Open Through November 23

Click here for our 2019 Epcot Food & Wine Preview

NBA Experience at Disney Springs – Now Open

Click here for our review and what you need to know about this fun new experience.

Reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Now Open

Click here for our review and walkthrough with photos and video.

Coming Soon to Disney World!

Disney Skyliner – September 30, 2019

Click here for what we know about Disney’s newest form of transportation.

Epcot Forever – October 1, 2019

After saying goodbye to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth on September 30, 2019, a brand-new nighttime show, Epcot Forever will debut. (See link below for more information)

Epcot Reimagined – Now Through Fall 2021 for Walt Disney World’s 50thAnniversary

Click here for a complete rundown of what’s coming to the new Epcot including closures.

New Cirque du Soleil Show – April 17, 2020

Click here for everything we know about this new show!

Star Wars Hotel – unknown

Click here for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser-What We Know So Far About the Upcoming Star Wars Themed Hotel Coming to Disney World

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!