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Home / News / DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Delicious Special Dining Events, Resort Showcase Week Part 2, Special Super Bowl Announcement, Military Discount, Valentine’s Day Shopping Guide & More!

DISNEY NEWS ROUNDUP: Delicious Special Dining Events, Resort Showcase Week Part 2, Special Super Bowl Announcement, Military Discount, Valentine’s Day Shopping Guide & More!

While the last week did not bring any major announcements, there was still plenty of news coming out of the Disney parks. We are continuing our special resort showcase week coverage, as well as some very special, limited-time dining events. “I’m going to Disney World” has become a Super Bowl fixture, but this year Disney has made this annual post-game moment even more magical with a special announcement. Don’t miss the sneak peek at the creation of the floats for the new Disneyland parade or everyone’s favorite neighborhood spider who will be swinging into Avengers Campus. Military families have a new discount available to them, and we have a Valentine’s Day merchandise guide. Plus, new babies at Animal Kingdom. All this and more in this week’s news roundup.





 

1 – Walt Disney World Showcase – Part 2

We were recently part of a media group invited to learn more about the fantastic 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 DisneyLists.com is to provide you with the information you need to have the best Walt Disney World vacation! Check out part two of our travel log for an overview of the second half of our stay, along with our thoughts on the restaurants we dined at and an overview of the resorts we toured. Click the link below for all the details.

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

Click here for our review and why we love staying at Disney’s Riviera Resort.

2 – Carnevale at Maria & Enzo’s at Disney Springs Now Through February 29

Now through February 29, while enjoying dinner at Maria & Enzo’s Ristorante, you can enjoy the Carnevale celebration. Carnevale, the traditional festival famous in Venice and known as Mardi Gras outside of Italy, is a spectacle of glamorous costumes, culinary delicacies, and riotous celebration. On Saturday night, we enjoyed the food, sights, and sounds of Carnevale. It’s a fantastic dining option during the month of February. Learn more, along with our full review at the link below.

Click here for what you need to know about Carnevale at Maria & Enzo’s at Disney Springs.

3 – Special Memory Maker Pricing for US Military Members

This week Disney released a fantastic deal for US Military members. Disney cast member Emily Southard shares more details below.

One of the best parts of a Disney vacation is having the chance to leave the real world behind and just relax alongside loved ones. For military families that make so many sacrifices, this kind of getaway is an incredibly special experience where they can make memories to last a lifetime.

On that note, I’m excited to share details about a special Disney PhotoPass offer available to U.S. military personnel. Through December 18, 2020, Eligible Service Members and their spouses can purchase Memory Maker for the special price of $98 at Walt Disney World Resort theme park ticket windows. But before I get into the specifics, you might be thinking, back up a little – what is Memory Maker?

Credit: Disney

Across Walt Disney World Resort, Disney PhotoPass Service is available at more than 100 locations to capture the moments you spend enjoying the magic with your family – from on-ride attraction photos and iconic park locations to popular dining experiences and studio spaces. With Memory Maker, you can enjoy all of the Disney PhotoPass photos and videos from your vacation to share now and cherish forever.

Details about this offer, including applicable terms and conditions, are available here. Eligible current and retired U.S. military personnel can also find more details on special offers on theme park tickets and accommodations by clicking here!

To all of those who serve, we salute you and look forward to your next visit to Walt Disney World Resort.





 

4 – Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Marks Training Milestone

With the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway just about a month away, we’re getting more sneak peeks of the attraction from Disney. This week the cast members hit a training milestone. Disney cast member Laurel Slater shares more below.

Opening on March 4, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway invites guests to zip away on a zany adventure through a cartoon universe crammed with surprises. But before the train can leave the station, our cast members need to learn how to operate in a world where mouse rules apply.

We recently celebrated a TRAINing milestone with trainers beginning to onboard the opening team cast members for this exciting new attraction. But in a cartoon world, anything can happen, and there’s sure to be an unexpected twist or two.

Check out the video below to see who joined the railroad crew for the day.

 

5 – Disney Parks Creates Magical Moments During Super Bowl LIV MVP Ceremony

This year’s Super Bowl MVP ceremony had some extra magic, as Disney Parks and Make-A-Wish made a super-sized announcement following the game Sunday night. Together, Disney Parks and Make-A-Wish have granted more than 140,000 wishes for children facing serious illnesses, and Sunday night, they teamed up again to change even more lives following the Super Bowl in Miami.

Disney Parks was the presenting sponsor of the Super Bowl MVP ceremony that took place on the field immediately following the game. The special announcement took place in the frenzy and excitement of what was a long-awaited Super Bowl title for the Kansas City Chiefs, as Disney Parks and Make-A-Wish joined together to bring even more smiles to even more children around the world.

“Disney and Make-A-Wish have been inseparable for 40 years. We’re both in the business of making wishes come true, creating lifelong memories and bringing families together,’’ said Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products. “We can’t think of a better way to demonstrate the power of a wish, and the strength of wish kids and their families, than by making them a part of our great Super Bowl tradition.’’

Disney’s involvement in the Super Bowl MVP ceremony builds on Disney’s long-running Super Bowl tradition of celebrating one or more star players from the big game. Since 1987, Super Bowl heroes have regularly looked into national TV cameras immediately following their team’s Super Bowl victory and shouted: “I’m going to Disney World!” – a scene that has become part of an iconic Disney television commercial, followed by a celebratory visit to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California.

This year, the Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, will travel to Walt Disney World Resort after the game for a festive parade at Magic Kingdom Park and a day of fun throughout the resort, including a visit to the popular Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Mahomes will add his name to the long list of Super Bowl heroes who have celebrated their team’s Super Bowl win at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. Mahomes will be joined at the park by a Make a Wish family.

“Disney has been a beacon of hope and joy for wish kids and their families when they need it most,” said Richard K. Davis, President, and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. “Within every wish that Disney helps to grant, there exists the potential for a life-changing experience that helps children to build the physical and emotional strength needed to fight a critical illness.”

The inclusion of Make-A-Wish this year with Disney’s Super Bowl campaign is an extension of Disney’s commitment to deliver comfort and inspiration to children facing serious illnesses. The first official wish granted for a Make-A-Wish child involved a trip to Disneyland Resort nearly 40 years ago. Currently, Disney helps to grant more than 10,000 wishes each year for children around the world.

6 – Behind the Scenes: Designing ‘Magic Happens’ Parade Floats at Disneyland Park

This week Disney released more details about the new parade coming to Disneyland later this month. Disney cast member Shannon Swanson has all the details below.

As you may have heard, “Magic Happens,” the new, daytime parade will debut in Disneyland Park on Feb. 28. Before the first float rolls out onto Main Street, U.S.A., we want to show you a little glimpse at how our creative team designed the stunning floats that will help to bring these magical stories to life.

Senior Art Director Scott Shaffer recently showed us around their workshop as they were creating some of the nine newly designed floats. As you’ll see in the video below, the floats are in various stages of production. From the almost complete “The Sword in the Stone” unit to the beginning stages of the “Sleeping Beauty” finale, it’s awe-inspiring to see these innovative, moving works of art coming together.





 

7 – Jaleo’s Famous Truffle Festival

José Andrés’ Truffle Festival is back! Flown straight from Spain the day they’re discovered by truffle-hunting dogs, these black truffles are as fresh as it gets.

For a limited time, enjoy the fragrant and exquisite black truffle in a variety of dishes, or add to select existing menu items. The Master Sommelier has also hand-selected wines to complement the beautiful, complex flavors of these dishes.

Truffle Bread. Credit: Jaleo

Jaleo Disney Springs Truffle Festival Menu: 

“Cristal Bread” acorn pork pancetta, black truffle – Pan de cristal, panceta Ibérica curada, Trufa negra

Setas Salteadas, cremoso de patata, Huevo , trufa negra – Sauteed muhrooms , potato puree, slow cooked with black truffle

Arroz de Pato Jean Louis Palladin con Trufa Negra – Duck rice in Honor of “Jean Louis Palladin” Black truffles

Tarta de queso con trufa – Vasc cheesecake with truffles

Looking for a more intimate experience? On Wednesday, February 12 and 13, 6:30 pm, guests can experience interactive class on truffles followed by an exclusive multi-course dinner with Spanish truffles shaved tableside by Jaleo chefs and Spanish wine pairings.

Click here to make reservations for the Truffle Festival or for the Truffle & Wine Dinner. 

 8 – Celebrating the New Year with New Babies at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

2020 has brought some new babies to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney cast member Scott Terrell shares more below.

One of the most rewarding parts of my role is getting to see our team welcome new animal babies at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I’m thrilled to share we are celebrating two new animal births in the new year — the park’s first Hartmann’s zebra foal and an Angolan black-and-white colobus monkey.

On Jan. 21, a yet-to-be-named Hartmann’s zebra foal was born to mom Prima under the care of the West Savanna team. This moment marks a milestone for the park as it is the first time this vulnerable zebra species has been born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Weighing in at about 65 pounds, the foal was standing and walking within 30 minutes of birth.

This little one is doing well and bonding backstage with his mom. Much of the time, he is nursing, napping, and starting to play and explore his mom’s hay. When he’s ready, he will be introduced in stages to the other zebras and then join the herd as they go out onto the savanna. Be on the lookout for zebra the next time you go on Kilimanjaro Safaris!

Swinging on to other baby news…a male Angolan black-and-white colobus monkey named Douglas was born on Jan. 15 to mom Zahra at Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Look up high, and you can see this small white fur ball snuggling close to his mom. As he grows up, his color will change to black with white around his face, and on his tail, like the others in his troop.

Douglas is the second of his family to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. His sister Alika (L), was born in 2018 and likes to groom him while mom looks on.

The Walt Disney Company is passionately committed to the protection of many animals, including zebras and primates.

You can learn more about zebras and black-and-white colobus monkeys and how you can help them by visiting DisneyAnimals.com.

Click here to see photos of the baby animals.

9 – Valentine’s Day Gift Guide to Merchandise at Disney Parks, shopDisney.com and Retailers Around the World

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and there are some fantastic gifts available at Disney Parks, shopDisney.com, and retailers around the world. Disney cast member Anthony Armenia shares more below.

February is almost upon us, and love is in the air! For those of you looking to impress your significant other or just looking to treat yourself, we’re bringing you some of the top gifts to celebrate Valentine’s Day at Disney Parks, shopDisney.com, Disney store, and retailers around the world!

First up, as seen above, are matching couples’ T-shirts featuring arguably the most famous celebrity couple, Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse. Whether you’re rocking this “charmed” V-neck T-shirt for women or “charmer” T-shirt for men, show the world your love is here to stay!

Credit: Disney

Looking for a more subtle Valentine’s Day look? Check out the latest Minnie Mouse ear headband and mini backpack by Loungefly in a vibrant red hue, both available at shopDisney.com. Complete the look by accessorizing with this Minnie Mouse ear headband bangle by Alex and Ani.

Credit: Disney

Lovers of matching couples’ T-shirts, you’re in luck! Check out this adorable “I’ll Be Your Mickey” T-shirt and “I’ll Be Your Minnie” T-shirt, perfect for wearing on a Disney parks date!

 

Get your main squeeze a little something they can squeeze, with a variety of Valentine’s Day-themed plush featuring Mickey and Minnie in their V-day best as well as a Stitch cupid plush and Mickey and Minnie plush duo.

Cozy up with your loved one with this matching Mickey Mouse “Original Mouseketeer” PJ set and Minnie Mouse “Original Mouseketeer” PJ Set!

Calling all pin traders! Get the perfect combo gift with these couple pin sets featuring Mickey and Minnie, Carl and Ellie from “Up” and even WALL•E and E.V.E.!

Credit: Disney

If you’re looking to infuse some enchantment into your style, you’ll love the latest additions to the Disney Parks Collection by Pandora featuring charms that will be available at various retail locations across the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

Credit: Disney





 

Headed to Walt Disney World Resort this Valentine’s Day? Be sure to pick up this limited-edition Mickey and Minnie Mouse Valentine’s Day MagicBand complete with a lovely box to store it in until next year!

All of these items and more can be found at select locations in Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, online at shopDisney.com and in a Disney store near you!

Are you going to be in the Disneyland Resort area around Valentine’s Day? You can wear your favorite Disney V-Day-inspired looks to Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite events while you party in the name of love. Tickets are still available for February 12, so get them now!

Those of you not visiting Disney Parks over this next month, check out some products available now at retailers worldwide:

WALL•E and E.V.E. aficionados can pick up these matching couples’ shirts featuring the star-crossed lovers themselves, exclusively available at BoxLunch!

You don’t need a Fairy Godmother to make your dreams come true! Celebrate true love’s kiss with this Cinderella crossbody bag by Danielle Nicole.

Credit: Disney

If the force is strong with you and your loved ones, check out these Star Wars Valentine’s Day greeting cards available now at the Lovepop kiosk at Disney Springs near Paddlefish, or online at LovePopCards.com!

Credit: Disney

There’s even more Valentine’s Day-themed swag for Star Wars fans! From the Boba Fett Search the Galaxy sweatshirt to the Death Star Heart tank top and Yoda One for Me T-shirt for women, you’ll want to pick up this interstellar apparel exclusive to Fifth Sun!

10 – Spiderman Swings into Action Above Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park

We’re so excited for the new Avengers Campus coming to Disney California Adventure Parks this summer. This week Disney announced more details about the campus. Disney cast member Scot Drake shares more below.

As we revealed at D23 Expo this past summer, Imagineers are hard at work to bring to life an amazing new experience with Spider-Man at Avengers Campus coming to Disney California Adventure park this summer!

Today I’m excited to share that guests visiting Disney California Adventure Park in the near future may be able to catch a glimpse of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man himself swinging above the rooftops of Avengers Campus.

Check out this video we captured of Spider-Man practicing some of his amazing acrobatic feats at a top-secret location:

 

Guests visiting Disney California Adventure park prior to the opening of the Avengers Campus this summer can still encounter Spider-Man daily in Hollywood Land between his visits to Avengers Campus. As previously announced, Spider-Man can be seen in his exclusive, new suit designed by Ryan Meinerding, Head of Visual Development at Marvel Studios.

When Avengers Campus opens this summer, guests will be recruited to become the next generation of Super Heroes. The campus will be home to a variety of new experiences giving guests the chance to feel the power, adventure and exhilaration of teaming up with some of their favorite Super Heroes including:

  • The Worldwide Engineering Brigade – also known as “WEB” – which will house the new Spider-Man attraction where guests can sling webs alongside Spider-Man himself.
  • Pym Test Kitchen, an all-new eatery, where Pym Technologies Researchers are using Ant-Man and the Wasp’s growing and shrinking technology to create super-sized and super small foods.
  • Heroic encounters throughout the campus where guests can team up with some of their favorite Super Heroes including Spider-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther and the Dora Milaje, Thor and Loki, Iron Man and for the first time, Ant-Man and The Wasp.
  • Avengers Headquarters where guests may witness Earth’s Mightiest Heroes springing into action at a moment’s notice all over the building.

11 – Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite Wins Grammy Award

The music you hear when you enter Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has won a Grammy! Disney cast member Thomas Smith shares the details below.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was recognized at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards for its iconic, original theme created by legendary composer, John Williams. This Grammy marks the 25th win for the Oscar-winning composer.

The original music, entitled “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Symphonic Suite,” received a Grammy in the “Best Instrumental Composition” category. Mr. Williams’ symphonic suite is a majestic arrangement of the entirely new musical themes and motifs, commissioned by Walt Disney Imagineering for the new land.  The composition musically transports guests to Batuu, the remote planet visitors experience at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Credit: Disney

While dreaming up the lands, Imagineers knew Batuu needed its own music to mark a unique sense of place within the Star Wars universe.

“When we were developing the soundtrack to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we knew the incomparable John Williams was the only composer for the job,” said Matt Walker, head of the Walt Disney Imagineering Music Studio. “Congratulations to the Maestro on this Grammy award.  We all feel privileged to be a part of it.”

 Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has welcomed millions of visitors since opening at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. The land recently received the theme park industry’s highest honor with a Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement.

12 – Visual Effect Society Honors Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance has won an award. Disney cast member Thomas Smith shares more below.

Each year, the Visual Effects Society (VES) recognizes outstanding visual effects in film, television and other media with the annual VES Awards. We are thrilled that last night Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance received a VES award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project!

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance places guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Collaborators from Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm, Ltd., seamlessly blended cutting-edge technology with innovative design to deliver a thrilling Star Wars adventure that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.

Since opening in May, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has received several industry nods, including being named TIME Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places 2019 and Outstanding Achievement – New Park Land by the Themed Entertainment Association.

In addition, the land was honored with the Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Award for best Location Based Entertainment, and last week the music to the land was recognized with a GRAMMY award.



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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 DisneyLists.com 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 DisneyLists.com 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!