Home / News / NEWS ROUNDUP: Beauty & The Beast Lounge Open, Tree of Life Holiday Decoration Sneak Peek, Special Holiday Dining Experiences, October Epcot Foodie Guide, Cruise Line News and Awards, Merchandise News & More

NEWS ROUNDUP: Beauty & The Beast Lounge Open, Tree of Life Holiday Decoration Sneak Peek, Special Holiday Dining Experiences, October Epcot Foodie Guide, Cruise Line News and Awards, Merchandise News & More

This week food takes center stage in the Disney World news round up. When Disney announced a new lounge inspired by Beauty and the Beast, fans went nuts. Well, Enchanted Rose is now open and you need to check it out! There are a bunch of new holiday dining options and tasting experiences announced, as well as the October edition of the Epcot foodie guide. Disney Cruise Line gets a prestigious honor and you can follow along on as we experience Disney Cruise Line’s holiday-themed cruise. More new merchandise was announced and a fan favorite shopping spot has reopened. All this and more below in this week’s news roundup.


1 – Enchanted Rose Now Open at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort

Earlier this year, Mizner’s Lounge at Disney Grand Floridian Resort closed. The space has now been transformed into Enchanted Rose, a lounge inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast film. The lounge opened to rave reviews. This one is worth going out of your way for!

Click here for more on Enchanted Rose.

2 – Sneak Peek at the Tree of Life for the Holidays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Walt Disney World is gearing up for the holiday season, which begins November 8. There will be new holiday additions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Tree of Life. Disney cast member Shawn Slater shares all the details:

This holiday season, guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom will find festive new entertainment and holiday décor in every land.

At the heart of the park on Discovery Island, the Tree of Life awakens with a series of wintry tales, each told in a unique artistic style and complemented by a familiar and heartwarming holiday-inspired musical score. The Disney Parks Live Entertainment team has been working for months to bring this experience to life. Recently, they got their first glimpse of how these new moments will look on the iconic tree.


These winter “awakenings” are still very much a work in progress, as the team moves toward the November 8 debut when the Tree of Life will come alive with the magic of nature and the spirit of the holidays.

3 – Epcot Foodie Guide for October

October is a fantastic month to visit Epcot! Not only will you find amazing foods and beverages at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but there are new food offerings around property that are here to stay! Get all the details at the link below.

Click here for the Epcot Foodie Guide for October 2019.


4 – Taste Your Way Through Disney’s Animal Kingdom this Winter

While Epcot gets a lot of attention for its food choices, we think Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the best food of any Disney theme park. If you’ve been wanting to try the many different items at the park, you’ll be interested in the Winter 2019 Tasting Sampler. For more information, see the link below.

Click here for more on the Winter 2019 Tasting Sampler at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

5 – Experience Delicious Dining Experiences This Holiday Season at Walt Disney World

Planning a trip to Disney World this holiday season? There are so many amazing dining experiences to discover. Here are all the details from Disney cast member Alex Dunlap:

Whether you’re looking to feast in an enchanted castle as snow falls across the night sky at Be Our Guest Restaurant or enjoy tasty bites at the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, there’s nothing quite like dining at Walt Disney World Resort during the holiday season.

Starting November 8 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can join Minnie and her friends for a joyous holiday dinner party at Hollywood & Vine. And at Epcot, from Nov. 29-Dec. 30, book the Candlelight Processional Dining Package to enjoy a festive holiday meal with guaranteed seating at this awe-inspiring show. The holidays are also a great time to try new restaurants as part of your celebration, including the recently-opened Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort and Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort, opening later this year. And with November just around the corner, don’t forget to make your Thanksgiving Day dining reservations!

Credit: Disney

With hundreds of amazing dining locations to choose from, finding the perfect place to eat at Walt Disney World Resort is easier than ever before. From mobile ordering meals through the My Disney Experience app, to searching for favorite menu items online, guests are able to save time so that they can enjoy all there is to see and do across our parks. Beginning today, due to their overwhelming popularity, the My Disney Experience app and will become the preferred home for booking and modifying table service dining reservations.

Guests can conveniently manage their table service dining reservations right at their fingertips, whenever they choose, alongside other plans they make with family and friends for their visit. Rest assured, as always, cast members at the Disney Reservation Center will continue to be available to help with reservations for groups of eight or more, same-day cancelations, in addition to other assistance guests may need, including Disney Resort hotel reservations, special offers, general questions and more.

6 – Celebrate the Holidays Aboard Disney Cruise Line

We are so excited to announce that we will be cruising on our very first Very Merrytime Cruise on the Disney Dream from November 18-22, 2019! We’ll be sharing lots of coverage on our Instagram account so be sure to follow us! There are still spots on 2019 and 2020 Very Merrytime Cruises, and they are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays! Catch more details below.

Click here for more on holiday-themed cruises on Disney Cruise Line.


7 – The Animation Experience at Conservation Station Now Features Animal’ Villain’ Drawing Tutorials

Back in July, Rafiki’s Planet Watch reopened after a lengthy refurbishment. The Animation Experience is an excellent addition to the line-up of great family-friendly activities. And now there are new things to draw.  Disney cast member Jennifer Fickely-Baker shares all the details below:

Since the reawakening of Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom earlier this year, I’ve been perfecting my drawing skills at The Animation Experience at Conservation Station. It has been fun learning how to sketch some of the most iconic characters from Disney’s “The Lion King,” and I’m excited to share that soon we’ll all be able to add to our collection.

Right in time for the villainous season, we’re introducing characters who find themselves as the antagonist in highly popular Disney films. While Scar and Ed from Disney’s “The Lion King” will remain as one of the six characters in rotation, beginning October 18, you can put pencil to paper and learn to draw from Disney•Pixar: Bruce from “Finding Nemo” and Hopper from “A Bug’s Life”; ShereKhan from “The Jungle Book” and Tic Toc from “Peter Pan.”

Credit: Disney

FastPass+ continues to be available for the experience. Which new character are you looking forward to learning?

Haven’t had the chance to learn all the Disney’s “The Lion King”-inspired characters yet? Check out the Learn to Draw series for a step-by-step lesson for ZazuTimon, and Simba.

8 – Enjoy a Sinister Soiree with Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way at Magic Kingdom Park

Looking to add a little extra magic into your time at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way is a great way to grab dinner, sweets, and a reserved viewing spot for Mickey’s Boo To You Parade. Disney Cast Member Alex Dunlap shares all the details below:

If you’re planning on attending Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park, then you won’t want to miss this fabulous add-on experience to your fright-filled night! Cruella’s Halloween Hideaway is the perfect way to have a spooky bite to eat, mingle with a popular Disney Villain, and get an exclusively reserved viewing for Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade!

Credit: Disney

Located at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Cruella has put together a sinister soiree for you. When you arrive, you’ll get to dine in style with a delicious feast featuring savory and sweet dishes from a bountiful buffet. International and domestic cheeses and assorted canapés draw you in and lead you to an array of savory samplers of Halloween flatbreads creamy spinach dip with ciabatta crustini, and more.

Of course, no Halloween party is complete without the sweets! Get your sugar rush with yummy desserts like chocolate-dipped strawberries, cheesecake, mini cannoli, Kanine Krunchy cake, and mini De Vil brownies.

Throughout the night, you’ll get to rub elbows with high society as Cruella stops by your table for some witty repartee. And later, you’ll get to catch a glimpse of the whole villainous gang with special reserved viewing for “Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” located in Town Square at the front of Main Street, U.S.A.

For more information and to make reservations for this exciting event, check out the Walt Disney World Resort website. This event happens on select nights during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom Park, which runs through November 1, 2019. Guests must have valid admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to attend Cruella’s Halloween Hideaway.

We enjoyed Cruella’s Halloween Hide-a-Way Party back in August. Click here for our thoughts on the experience (as well as the entire Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party)!


9 – Disney Cruise Line Recognized as the No. 1 Cruise Line in Conde Nast Travelers Reader’s Choice Awards for Eighth Consecutive Years

Condé Nast Traveler, on October 7 announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Disney Cruise Line recognized as the No. 1 Top Large Cruise Line in the World for the eighth consecutive year.

This year, more than 600,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers from across the globe rated their travel experiences. In the cruise category, voters evaluated more than 400 cruise ships across a multitude of brands.

“It is our goal at Disney Cruise Line to create unforgettable vacations for every guest who sails with us,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Disney Cruise Line. “Being recognized once again by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler is a source of great pride for our team, whether they make their magic on our ships, at our private island Castaway Cay or behind the scenes. This award speaks to their commitment to always going above and beyond – and making every guest’s experience truly special.”

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are one of the longest-running and most prestigious recognitions of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” The 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards are published on Condé Nast Traveler’s website and in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler US and UK print editions.

Disney Cruise Line blends the magic of Disney entertainment with the excitement of ocean cruising, offering incredible onboard experiences and itineraries to the sun-drenched destinations of the Caribbean year-around and awe-inspiring seasonal sailings throughout Alaska and Europe. Most Caribbean itineraries also include a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney Cruise Line’s award-winning private island in The Bahamas. Plus, for the first-time next year, Disney Cruise Line will set sail from New Orleans onboard the Disney Wonder. The world of “The Princess and the Frog” is brought to life like never before onboard the Disney Wonder, which features exciting new enhancements, including the addition of a New Orleans-themed lounge that transports guests deeper into the heart of the city’s iconic French Quarter.

Disney Cruise Line continues to expand its horizons, with new ships scheduled for delivery in 2021, 2022, and 2023. The name of the highly anticipated fifth Disney Cruise Line ship, Disney Wish, was recently announced along with the ship’s featured stern characters – Rapunzel and her feisty sidekick Pascal. The Disney Wish is scheduled for delivery in late 2021 and will set sail in January 2022. All three new ships will be powered by liquefied natural gas and, at approximately 144,000 gross tons and 1,250 guest staterooms, be slightly larger than the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy.

For more details on the Disney Cruise Line and help booking your vacation, call our travel partners Magical Vacation Planners at (407) 442-0227. You can also get a no-obligation, FREE vacation quote by clicking here.  Their services are free to you, and they can answer any questions you may have.

10 – Mickey’s of Hollywood Now Reopened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

There have been a lot of refurbishments taking place along Hollywood Blvd at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and now another store has reopened to guests. Here are all the details from Disney cast member Jennifer Fickley-Baker:

As you enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you will be greeted by a newly reimagined Mickey’s of Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard! Keystone Clothiers and Legends of Hollywood recently reopened their doors, and right now, our guests will be able to enjoy this additional location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Travel back in time and experience the transformative art deco décor within the store. If you look up at the ceiling, you can find a stylish scheme of squares and gold accents that create a glamorous atmosphere. Arendelle Aqua and Halloween merchandise can be found at this location right now.

It seems as if there is excitement on every corner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With plenty of new attractions and merchandise locations now opened, guests can enjoy an array of exciting experiences.

11 – Dooney & Bourke Introduces New Nautical Collection Exclusively for Disney Cruise Line

If you’re a Dooney & Bourke and Disney Cruise Line fan, then you’ll love the announcement that a new line has come to Disney Cruise Line. Here are all the details from Disney cast member Melanie Curtsinger:

Dooney & Bourke recently introduced a new collection that’s nautical, trendy, and created exclusively for Disney Cruise Line!

The whimsical and colorful Characters Ahoy design features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip, and Dale interspersed with classic, nautical details. This collection includes some of Dooney & Bourke’s most popular silhouettes, like a wallet, crossbody, and tote.

This new collection can only be found on Disney ships, so keep an eye out for it on your next Disney cruise.

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!