Home / News / DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Big Changes to DHS FastPasses, Space 220 Opening Date, Star Wars Day at Sea, Resort Showcase, New Disney Golfers Club, New Merch, Disney & Patina Steps Up to Help Charitable Organizations & More

DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Big Changes to DHS FastPasses, Space 220 Opening Date, Star Wars Day at Sea, Resort Showcase, New Disney Golfers Club, New Merch, Disney & Patina Steps Up to Help Charitable Organizations & More

The biggest news of the week was an announcement that there are big changes coming to FastPass at Hollywood Studios that is going to make everyone happy. Disney Cruise Line also announced the return of a very popular themed cruise. We spent the week at Disney World and got a whirlwind sampling of a bunch of resorts, restaurants and more. We have all kinds of reviews and photos. We may finally have an opening date for Space 220, and a sneak peek of Disney Pixar’s newest release. Imagineers hit a major milestone in the preparation for HarmoniUS, new merchandise is hitting the parks. Disney Chefs and the Patina Group are both making a big impact on local charitable organizations (yay!). All this and more in this week’s news roundup.


1 – Big Changes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios FP Tiers, Adds FastPass for Millennium Falcon

Since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened in late August of 2019, one thing has been missing in the new land—FastPass service. That all changed this week when Disney announced that it would be adding Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run to the FastPass line up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In addition to adding the popular attraction, Disney also changed up the Tier groups, allowing for much great flexibility when choosing FastPasses at the park. Beginning February 19, Tier One includes Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Slinky Dog Dash. All remaining attractions are moving to Tier Two. Thrill ride fans can now (again) choose both Rock ‘n Roller Coaster and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror from Tier Two. This is also the first time since Toy Story Land opened that the three attractions: Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania, and Alien Swirling Saucers are not in the same tier group, making enjoying these attractions easier. For more on the changes, including whether or not Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will join FastPass and our review of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, head to the link below.

Click here for news on FastPass for Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.

2 – Star Wars Day at Sea Returns in 2021 on the Disney Cruise Line

Star Wars fans who love to cruise should start planning now. Disney Cruise Line has announced the return of the Star Wars Day at Sea in 2021! This cruise is on our bucket list, and we hope to enjoy it one year! To learn more about this fantastic themed cruise, click on the link below.

Click here to learn more about Star Wars Day at Sea returning in 2021.

3 – Walt Disney World Resort Showcase

This past week we were part of a media group invited to learn more about the amazing offerings across Walt Disney World at the resorts, dining locations, and special events. Even though we have stayed on property at Disney resorts too many times to count over the last fifteen years, there is always something new to learn because Disney is always adding to improving guest experiences and choices. We’re very excited to share about this fantastic experience over the next several weeks with in-depth reviews and updated “best of” lists. After all, one of our main goals here at is to provide you with the information you need to have the best Walt Disney World vacation! Check out part one of our travel log for an overview of the first half of our stay along with our thoughts on the restaurants we dined at and an overview of the resorts we toured. There were some surprises! Click the link below for all the details.

Click here for part one of our travel log for the 2020 Walt Disney World Resort Showcase.


4 – Rumored Opening Date for Space 220 at Epcot

There are some reports of an opening date for the brand-new space-themed restaurant, Space 220. Space 220 is a new table-service restaurant debuting this year at Epcot – next to Mission: SPACE – that will give the feel of dining 220 miles above the Earth’s surface, complete with celestial views. According to some reports, the restaurant is slated to open on March 30. Disney has not confirmed this date and has not opened reservations yet. We will continue to update you with the official opening date when the information is released.

5 – Special Look at Disney and Pixar’s ‘Onward’ Coming Soon to Disney Parks

The next Disney and Pixar movie is coming out soon, and that means a limited-time preview will be coming soon to Disney Parks.  Disney cast member Shawn Slater has all the details below.

Pixar Animation Studios has created some of the most incredible, endearing and timeless stories ever told. “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille” and “Monsters, Inc.” are among my family’s favorite films, and as a father of two (now teenage!) boys, I can’t wait to see the next original tale from Pixar, “Onward.”

For a limited time beginning February 7, guests visiting Disney Parks will get an early glimpse of scenes from “Onward.” Sneak peeks of the film will be shown in the Tomorrowland Theater at Disneyland park and as part of the Walt Disney Presents attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests aboard Disney Cruise Line can also catch this special look at a part of the film, during select sailings in February and early March.

Set in a suburban fantasy world, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” introduces two teenage elf brothers – Ian & Barley – who embark on an extraordinary quest after being given the chance to spend one more day with their father.

Here’s a special message from Academy Award-winner Octavia Spencer, who plays the Manticore in the film.


“Onward” releases in theaters on March 6, 2020.

6 – Getting Ready for ‘Harmonious’ at Epcot

Later this year, Epcot is expected to debut the next nighttime spectacular, Harmonious. Imagineers are making progress and hit a milestone this week. Disney cast member Shawn Slater shares more below.

Epcot is in the midst of a historic, multi-year transformation that is bringing a wide variety of exciting new attractions and experiences to the park. Among these is “Harmonious,” set to debut later this year, which will be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created for a Disney Park. Our Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Parks Live Entertainment teams recently passed a major milestone in the development of the show, with the delivery of several floating platforms that will provide a base for the technology used to create “Harmonious.”


“Harmonious” will bring to World Showcase Lagoon an innovative toolkit of massive floating set pieces that house a variety of show effects, including custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, colorful lights, lasers, pyrotechnics and more.

The show is a beautifully crafted nighttime dreamscape of Disney music and images, reimagined by diverse cultural musicians and artists from around the world. It’s a transformative experience, where we can discover how Disney music has the power to inspire and unite us all. You can catch an early glimpse of concepts for the show now by visiting Walt Disney Imagineering Presents the Epcot Experience, located in the Odyssey Events Pavilion.

Over the coming months, with development and infrastructure work for “Harmonious” ramping up both behind the scenes and in the center of the lagoon, we’re pleased to present the limited-time spectacular “Epcot Forever.”

“Epcot Forever” has been described as a “love letter” to the park. The show tells the story of Epcot, beginning with the first spark of inspiration and the opening day anthem, “We’ve Just Begun to Dream,” and continuing through chapters dedicated to the thematic pillars of innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration. It concludes with an all-new verse of the classic song, “One Little Spark,” leading into a spectacular grand finale promising “A Whole New World” of magical possibilities to come.

“Epcot Forever” is now showing nightly in World Showcase, and we’ll have more to share on “Harmonious” in the months ahead.


7 – Sneak Peek of ‘Magic Happens’ Parade, Debuting February 28 at Disneyland Park

Disneyland Park is getting a new parade, and we’re just about one month away from its debut. This week Disney released some new images of some of the parade floats. Here are all the details from Disney cast member Michael Ramirez.

We are so excited for the debut of “Magic Happens,” the all-new daytime parade coming to Disneyland park on February 28.

“Magic Happens” celebrates moments of magic from Disney and Pixar stories, which will be brought to life on a grand scale with stunning floats, artistic costumes and imaginative music co-composed by singer-songwriter Todrick Hall. The parade features distinct stories with a mix of characters, making it feel contemporary and classic, fun and regal, and surprising and familiar – all at the same time.

We are excited to share a sneak peek, as well as reveal a few more parade floats.

The image above shows the magical moment when Cinderella’s grand pumpkin is magically transformed around her into a glistening carriage, whisking her off to the ball.

Credit: Disney

From “The Sword in the Stone,” Merlin wisely leads the way for young Arthur, who finds the magic within himself as he pulls the sword from the stone, claiming his place upon the throne.

Credit: Disney

Tiana and Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” are seen amidst a swirl of golden flowers where they share a kiss, completing their transformation back into human forms.

Credit: Disney

Check out our video below for a special look:


Stay tuned for more exciting details as we get closer to its debut on February 28!

8 – Local Disney Chefs Events benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank Coming Soon

Two local events are coming to the Orlando area where Disney Chefs and cuisine are coming together to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank. Disney cast member Alex Dunlap shares all the details below.

Chef’s Night for Second Harvest Food Bank – February 6, 2020 in Orlando, FL

Chef’s Night is an evening at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida where Central Florida’s best chefs and cuisine – including those from Walt Disney World Resort – come together to benefit the Darden Foundation Community Kitchen’s Culinary Training Program. This 16-week culinary training program is focused on providing service-based technical, life, and employability skills to adults.

Chef’s Night will feature the chefs our very own Walt Disney World Resort Food & Beverage Concept Development Team. Inspired by “Love” in celebration of Valentine’s Day, the night will feature a cocktail reception with an assortment of hors d’oeuvres followed by a four-course meal. For the first course, our chefs will be serving lobster bisque with crispy parsnip, pink-tipped parsley, lemon crème fraiche, and lobster oil. This is followed by “Inner Beauty”, a dish featuring beet heart, lingonberry, rose hip, and oxalis. For the main dish, you’ll enjoy Beef Wellington with sweet potato purée, baby squash blossom, mushrooms, and red wine demi. And to finish off the night, a sweet dessert course featuring Strawberries and Cream with Plant City strawberries, Chantilly cream, and chocolate-caramel cake. The dinner also features wine pairings selected by Master Sommelier Brian Koziol. To purchase your tickets, you can visit the Second Harvest Food Bank website.

Field to Feast Dinner with Disney Chefs benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and presented by Edible Orlando Magazine – February 22, 2020, in Zellwood, FL

Come and spend an afternoon celebrating locally-sourced cuisine for a good cause with our Disney chefs as they cook al fresco at this casual dine around event at Long & Scott Farms in Zellwood, Florida. In partnership with Edible Orlando magazine, our chefs step out of their Walt Disney World Resort kitchens to take part in an afternoon full of incredible dishes, wines and cocktails, live music, farm tours, and a raffle! Best of all, 100% of proceeds from this unique event benefit the Kids Café Program of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. This after-school meal service program provides food to needy children in Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties.

This year marks the 7th anniversary of the Field to Feast Dinner, which has raised more than $100,000 for the Kids Café Program since its inception. Join us for an opportunity to mix and mingle with Disney chefs and sommeliers from 2:30-5:30 p.m. on February 22, 2020. Our Disney chefs create a variety of small dishes inspired by their home parks and resorts, and each dish is paired with a special wine, beer, or cocktail selected by Master Sommelier George Miliotes of Wine Bar George at Disney Springs. Featured at the event are Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood, Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riviera, Tiffins Restaurant, Walt Disney World Food & Beverage Concept Development Team, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Golden Oak, the Epcot Festival chefs, Disney Park Events Operations and Premium Events, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Bakery Team, Disney’s Grand Floridian Weddings Team, Amorette’s Patisserie, and The Ganachery.

Tickets are $175 per person and can be purchased at This event has sold out for the last six years, so be sure to get your tickets today!

9 – Latest Additions to the Disney Parks Designer Collection Coming this Month to Epcot International Festival of the Arts

Last year Disney released the Disney Parks Designer Collection, and we’re coming up on the next release. Disney cast member Anthony Armenia shares more below.

It’s finally the new year, which can only mean one thing: new ears! The latest releases from the Disney Parks Designer Collection are being released at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts this month!

Credit: Disney

First up is a melodic design by Disney artist Dave Perillo, featuring Mickey Mouse himself creating the most toon-filled tunes. This ear hat also has a musical feature that plays the “Mickey Mouse March” with the flip of a switch! The design is available now at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, and on

The ear hat is available to purchase at the following locations:

Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Art of Disney (Epcot)
  • Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories (Disney Springs)
  • Legends of Hollywood (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Uptown Jewelers (Magic Kingdom Park)
  • Discovery Trading Company (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Disneyland Resort:

  • Disneyana (Disneyland park)
  • Off the Page (Disney California Adventure park)
  • The Disney Dress Shop (Downtown Disney District)

Credit: Disney

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse aficionados will love John Coulter’s floral, elegant, turn of the century Minnie Mouse ear headband design, launching exclusively at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts ahead of its March release.

The design [was] released on January 24 exclusively at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts WonderGround Gallery tent and then will come to Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and online at in March.

Once released broadly in March, the headband will be available to purchase at the following locations:

Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Art of Disney (Epcot)
  • Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories (Disney Springs)
  • Legends of Hollywood (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Uptown Jewelers (Magic Kingdom Park)
  • Discovery Trading Company (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)

Disneyland Resort:

  • Disneyana (Disneyland park)
  • Off the Page (Disney California Adventure park)
  • The Disney Dress Shop (Downtown Disney District)

Credit: Disney

Looking for even more Disney Parks Designer Collection ears to add to your assortment? Disney artist Jerrod Maruyama will be appearing at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts in the WonderGround Gallery tent from February 7 through 11 signing his Disney Parks Designer Collection Hipster Mickey Mouse ear hat. Jerrod will be signing on February 7, 10 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. then on February 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You can find this design at various locations as listed below:

Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Art of Disney (Epcot)
  • Legends of Hollywood (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Main Street Cinema (Magic Kingdom Park)
  • Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories (Disney Springs)

Disneyland Resort:

  • Disneyana (Disneyland park)
  • Off the Page (Disney California Adventure park)
  • The Disney Dress Shop (Downtown Disney District)

Stay tuned as even more releases from the Disney Parks Designer Collection will be coming early next year including:

  • The Blonds – February 2020
  • Betsey Johnson – February 2020
  • Kevin Rafferty – Spring 2020
  • Her Universe – Spring 2020
  • Joe Rohde – Spring 2020
  • Cupcakes and Cashmere – Spring 2020
  • Lily Aldridge – Spring 2020
  • Bret Iwan – Summer 2020
  • Karlie Kloss – Summer 2020
  • Vera Wang – Fall 2020

Don’t miss these limited release products and all of the other great Epcot International Festival of the Arts merchandise at Epcot now through February 24. Which #DisneyParksDesignerCollection design in 2020 are you looking forward to most?

Merchandise available while supplies last. We ask that only two (2) items be signed per guest, per time in line. We ask that you bring no personal items to be signed. Valid Walt Disney World Resort receipt may be required. Artist signing is subject to space and time availability and is not guaranteed. Theme Park Admission is required. Event information subject to change without notice.


10 – Ring in Lunar New Year with Fun at Disney California Adventure Park

Happy Lunar New Year! Looking for a fun way to celebrate? You’ll want to head to Disney California Adventure Park for some limited time fun. Disney cast member Michael Ramirez shares more below:

From now through February 9, celebrate Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure park! Join us as we ring in the Year of the Mouse with spectacular entertainment, festive eats and family activities that welcome another year of good fortune.

See what’s in store this Lunar New Year celebration:


Experience “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession,” “Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration,” and live musicians and dancers at Paradise Gardens Park. Take a stroll through four festive marketplaces to enjoy Asian fare and drinks. Encounter favorite characters in their Lunar New Year-themed attire. Get inspired by local artisans as they craft Chinese calligraphy, dragon’s pearl coloring crafts and face paintings.

With so much to see and do, you cannot miss celebrating Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure park!

11 – Disney’s Golf Player’s Club 2020

Calling all golf fans! Did you know there is a Disney Golf Player’s Club membership program? Disney cast member Darrell Fry shares more below.

Since 2013, golf enthusiasts have enjoyed exclusive benefits with the Disney Golf Player’s Club membership program, including frequent and easy access to our Walt Disney World Golf courses and PGA instructors. This January we’re expanding and enhancing the opportunity for golf lovers to hone their game with the introduction of The Player’s Club 2020 membership program. The new program provides more flexible pricing and incremental benefits, so whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s a membership for you!

The Silver Membership ($29/month or pre-paid $319/year) is perfect for those who golf on occasion or are new to the sport. Silver members receive access to book reservations up to four days in advance, access to the practice facilities, one large basket of range balls per day, complimentary instructional clinics and discounts on food and drink, merchandise and additional range balls.

The Gold Membership ($39/month or pre-paid $429/year) is most similar to the pre-existing program and includes all the Silver Membership benefits, as well as walk-up availability within 15-45 minutes of open tee times, bonus morning access times at special rates, one additional large basket of range balls per day, two complementary clinic guest passes every month and a $5 discount on all Player’s Club Events.

Frequent golfers can enjoy maximum access and benefits with the Platinum Membership ($69/month or pre-paid $759/year). In addition to the Gold Membership benefits, Platinum members receive unlimited buckets of range balls, two additional complimentary clinic guest passes every month, three guest rounds per month at their same rate and complimentary play at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course after 12 p.m. daily.

Current Player’s Club members, or those interested in the program, can visit for more information. See you on the course!

12 – Patina Restaurant Group Helps Raise More Than $50k for Critically Ill Children and Their Families

The Patina Group manages many Disney Springs and Walt Disney World restaurants, including the upcoming Space 220 Restaurant at Epcot. The group is a bicoastal collection of 60+ boutique restaurant, helmed by Chef Joachim Splichal and celebrated restaurateur Nick Valenti. The group is known for its unique and impeccable market-driven menus, modern design and décor, exemplary service culture, and outstanding beverage program across all locations—offering numerous distinctive, one-of-a-kind dining destinations surrounding celebrated cultural institutions.

Patina Restaurant Group is proud to announce that, in partnership with non-profit Give Kids The World, it has helped raise $51,930 to support the wish trips of seriously ill children and their deserving families. These funds will be used to aid in the fulfillment of over 8,000 wishes in 2020.

In advance of the opening of Space 220 Restaurant, the highly anticipated new signature table-service location in Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort, supporters of Give Kids The World were invited to bid on a prize package provided by Patina Restaurant Group that included dinner for two at the new restaurant.

Space 220 Restaurant is an immersive culinary experience that promises a journey like no other as guests are launched into the height of dining, a simulated 220 miles above Earth’s surface. Dinner will be served inside the Centauri Space Station, suspended in orbit directly above Mission: SPACE at Epcot. With stunning views and fantastic food, the prize winners will be privy to an evening that is truly out of this world. The dining portion of the package will be available for redemption following the restaurant’s opening.

“Patina Restaurant Group is honored to support Give Kids The World in their mission to create magical moments for wish families. The incredible work that they do is near and dear to our hearts, making them our local charity of choice here in Orlando. We look forward to welcoming the prize winners that helped make this all possible to our Space 220 Restaurant,” said Marketing Director, Kyle Collins, on behalf of Patina Restaurant Group and parent company, Delaware North.

By making a donation to Give Kids The World, supporters provided the means to help fulfill life-changing wish trips for seriously ill children and their families battling the unthinkable. These cost-free vacations are complete with accommodations, donated theme park tickets, meals, and more. The goal is to create an experience that inspires a renewed sense of hope and happiness that lasts long after each family returns home.


What’s New at Walt 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.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts, January 17-February 24, 2020

Click here for the 15 offerings you don’t want to miss at the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Click here for photos of 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts merchandise. 

Click here for photos of all of the festival menu boards that have prices and snack credit designations.

Click here for our Instagram Story highlight with photos and video from our preview day at the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

Click here for our Instagram Story highlight with photos and video from Opening Day of the 2020 Epcot Festival of the Arts.

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!

Click here for our Survival Guide-What You Need to Know Before You go to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Click here for our full review of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

Disney Skyliner – Now Open

Click here for what you need to know about the Disney Skyliner

Epcot Forever – Now Open

Click here to learn more about Epcot Forever.

The Epcot Experience – Now Open

Click here to learn more about the Epcot Experience.

Disney’s Riviera Resort – Now Open

Click here for what you need to know about Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Click here for our review and what you need to know about Breakfast a la Art with Mickey and Friends at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

Reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Now Open

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

NBA Experience at Disney Springs – Now Open

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

Coming Soon to Disney World!

Coming in 2020

Click here for the 15 exciting things coming to Walt Disney World in 2020.

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening March 4, 2020

Click here for what we know so far about Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 4-June 1, 2020

Click here for more on the 2020 Garden Rocks concert series and more for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.

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

Click here for what you need to know about the new Epcot – including details on 20 new experiences!

Click here for more on our sneak peek at updates coming to the France pavilion in 2020.

Drawn to Life – New Cirque du Soleil Show – April 17, 2020

Click here for everything we know about this new show!

Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration – 2021

Click here for our rundown of everything that’s coming for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary!

Star Wars Hotel – 2021

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

Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point – Disney’s 2nd Island in the Caribbean – unknown

Click here for everything we know about Lighthouse Point!

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!