After a few slower weeks of Disney news, the pace really picked up this week! Disney announced the closing date of Spaceship Earth and some details on the new ride to come. Disney also released full menus for the Flower & Garden Festival as well as dates and tickets for Disney World’s most popular special event. A highly anticipated addition to the Epcot dining lineup opened this week, and next week has multiple new attractions opening. We have a first look at Flower & Garden Festival merchandise along with a ton of other merchandise news. Disney Cruise Line has released new itineraries for the summer of 2021, and the Disney Resorts have unveiled some sweet new activities your kids are going to go nuts over. Some entertainment changes were announced at Hollywood Studios you’ll want to be aware of. All this and more in this week’s news round up.
1 – Closing Date & Details of New Story Announced for Spaceship Earth
While Disney announced last year that Spaceship Earth would be reimagined as part of the massive overhaul of the park, details of when and what have been hard to come by until this week. Disney has announced a closing date for the iconic attraction along with some details about the new storyline and what guests can expect with the ride reopens have a lengthy closure.
2 – Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Menus Released
Amazing food and beverage options are not just for the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot. The Epcot Flower & Garden Festival’s outdoor kitchens have so many fantastic choices to try. This year is no different. Visit the link below for the full menus of the outdoor kitchens!
3 – Dates Releases; Tickets Now on Sale for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Spring might be just around the corner, but we’ve got our sights on fall and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Disney has released the 2020 party dates, and tickets are now on sale. Tickets do sell out, and you should expect the most popular dates like Halloween night and weekends to sell out quickly, so don’t wait too long if you want a specific date! Learn more at the link below.
4 – Regal Eagle – Now Open at Epcot
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue is now open! The new fast-casual restaurant at The American Adventure in Epcot serves classic American backyard barbecue and home-style craft brews. We’ll be checking out the restaurant very soon and will have our full review up shortly! Learn more about the opening at the link below.
5 – Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Preview Event – March 3
We’ll be attending a special media preview of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, the newest attraction coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’re so excited to experience this fun new attraction! Be sure to follow us on Instagram for our full event coverage, including lots of photos and videos of the attraction and coverage of the opening ceremony on Tuesday, March 3, around 7:30 pm. We’ll also have our full review of the attraction for you shortly after the opening! The attraction opens to the public on Wednesday, March 4.
6 – Opening Date of Mickey Shorts Theater Announced
Next week is gearing up to be a very busy one! Not only is the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opening on March 4, but another new attraction is opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Mickey Shorts Theater will be opening and debuting an original Mickey short. Catch all the details at the link below.
7 – Entertainment Changes at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios ended its nearly four-year run on February 22, 2020. Also, some characters left the Studios this past weekend. Bo Peep, Frozone, and Mike Wazowski are no longer greeting guests at the park. No official word on if or when these characters might return. It is believed that the closing this show and character changes will allow the entertainment teams to move that budget to increased entertainment opportunities and characters in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
8 – Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Merchandise First Look
Spring is in the air, and so is new merchandise. This year’s Epcot Flower & Garden Festival is offering some great items with the following collections: Orange Bird’s Hello Sunshine, Minnie’s Flower Cart, Mickey’s Farmers Market, Spike’s Sweet as can Bee, and Passholder Exclusives. There is also the adorable Disney Parks Wishables collection. Learn more at the link below!
9 – Summer 2021 Disney Cruise Line Itineraries Announced
Hey Disney Cruise Line fans, get out those calendars and start planning! In summer 2021, Disney Cruise Line will sail a variety of itineraries around the world, including a return to Greece – back by popular demand – and exciting and varied European destinations, Alaska ports, and tropical locales. Plus, Disney Cruise Line will visit three first-time ports of call in Greece, Sweden, and Norway. Learn more at the link below.
10 – Mermaid School, a New Chocolate Workshop and More at Walt Disney World Resorts this Spring
There are so many fun activities at Walt Disney World resorts! Disney has announced a new experience and announced the return of some fan favorites. Disney cast member Thomas Smith shares more below.
A selection of new and returning experiences that offer memorable fun for guests of all ages are set to bloom at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels this spring! Chocolate tastings, painting activities, pirate adventures and more are now accepting reservations for guests planning a springtime getaway.
NEW! The Chocolate Workshop Presented by The Ganachery
Come discover the delights of chocolate – nature’s most beautiful ingredient! This hands-on chocolate workshop hosted at the new Disney’s Riviera Resort will give guests a taste of The Ganachery, a specialty chocolate shop located in Disney Springs. Participants will learn from an expert Chef Chocolatier from The Ganachery how to properly taste chocolate, observe a demonstration on how ganache is made and create their very own chocolate truffle pops. Starting in March, the workshops will take place on Sundays at 11 a.m. at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Classes are $60/person (plus tax). Reservations can be made through 407-WDW-PLAY.
Back by popular demand, Mermaid School at Walt Disney World Resort hotels gives guests ages 4 and older the chance to live out their mermaid dreams by participating in fun pool activities while wearing a swimmable “tail” – just like Ariel! At the end of the experience, guests will now receive a unique medallion to commemorate their time “under the sea.” Mermaid School will be back in session on select dates starting March 1, with classes offered in new additional locations. This year, Mermaid School experiences will be available at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Riviera Resort. Classes are $55/person (plus tax). Reservations for this experience are now open and can be made through 407-WDW-PLAY.
Crockett’s Craft Corner at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground
Guests can let out their inner-artist at Crockett’s Craft Corner at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground! This two-hour board-and-brush style workshop invites guests ages 8 and up to design, paint and take home their very own rustic wooden sign. As they paint, participants can enjoy a complimentary assortment of light food and beverage options. Crockett’s Craft Corner takes place on Wednesday afternoons inside Trails End Restaurant and is priced at $75/person (plus tax). Reservations can be made through 407-WDW-PLAY.
Walt Disney World Resort Fun Runs
Guests looking for a fun way to stay active during their vacation should check out one of the many Fun Run opportunities located at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels! These experiences offer scenic views of Walt Disney World, with courses ranging from 1.2-1.8 miles at the following resorts: Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, Disney’s BoardWalk Resort, Disney’s Old Key West Resort and Disney’s All-Star Resorts.
The total cost for this experience is $15/person (plus tax) and includes a custom bib, finishers prize and a selection of snacks. Guests 2 and under are free, and strollers are welcome during the runs. To reserve a spot, guests can call 407-WDW-PLAY.
Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew at Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew at Disney’s Beach Club Resort is bringing another year of swashbucklin’ fun! This immersive group experience invites kids ages 4-12 to go on an epic pirate adventure with Captain Hook and his crew as they search for hidden treasure, set sail for a short jaunt around Crescent Lake and enjoy a delicious Pirate feast! Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew is the perfect way for kids to make lasting memories in a safe and fun environment as parents enjoy time on their own, such as an evening at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, opening March 4.
The cost for this experience is $55 (plus tax) per child. Now through May 31, Annual Passholders are eligible for a 10% discount. Disney Vacation Club Members are also eligible for a 10% discount with no end date at this time. For reservations and more information, guests can call 407-824-KIDS.
11 – Mickey & Minnie’s Trivia Time – Mouse Rules Apply! Coming Soon to the Play Disney Parks App
The Play Disney Parks app is getting a new game next week with the opening of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. Disney cast member Avery Maehrer shares more below.
The Play Disney Parks app offers fun, innovative new ways to interact with the theme parks and experience the magic like never before, and today, we’re sharing a sneak peek at what’s coming next to the app!
Beginning next month, you can discover the zany cartoon world of animated shorts with Mickey & Minnie’s Trivia Time – Mouse Rules Apply!, a new trivia game in the Play Disney Parks app that celebrates the openings of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction and “Vacation Fun” at Mickey Shorts Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
This trivia game will give guests the chance to play together and test their knowledge of Mickey Mouse and friends, featuring animations inspired by Disney Channel’s Emmy Award-winning cartoon shorts.
Guests will discover five trivia packs containing hundreds of questions spanning from Mickey and Minnie’s debut in “Steamboat Willie” to today. Some of these trivia packs will be available at home, while others can be unlocked after experiencing Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway or “Vacation Fun” at Mickey Shorts Theater to extend the cartoon fun even further.
Check out a sneak peek below:
As you can see, this is no ordinary trivia game – mouse rules apply!
Guests will also be able to earn special new digital achievements in the app, including the “Runner-Away” achievement at Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the “Short Stuff” achievement at Mickey Shorts Theater.
The Play Disney Parks app offers something for guests of all ages to enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort – whether playing in-queue attraction games, hacking into droids at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and activating other show effects, earning achievements for completing in-park activities, discovering official Disney Parks playlists through Apple Music®** and more.
Be sure to “stay tooned” for Mickey & Minnie’s Trivia Time – Mouse Rules Apply!, debuting just in time for the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort on March 4!
12 – Behind the Scenes: Dressing the Part for ‘Magic Happens’ Parade, Debuting February 28 at Disneyland Park
There are over ninety performers for the ‘Magic Happens’ parade! Learn more about what it takes to create costumes for all of them! Here are all the details from Disney cast member Shannon Swanson:
90-plus performers in vibrant costumes will soon bring the “Magic Happens” parade to life when it debuts in Disneyland park on Feb. 28. This all-new daytime spectacular celebrates moments of magic that are at the heart of so many Disney stories.
Drawing inspiration from modern fashion runways and adding a uniquely Disney flair, these pieces are on the cutting edge of design and technology. Our creative costume team gave us a tour as the team was fitting, stitching and fabricating a few of these elaborate creations.
Check out the video below for this behind-the-scenes peek:
I am especially excited to see how the spirit guides, or alebrijes from “Coco,” costumes will look. What are you most looking forward to seeing?
13 – Create Personalized Disney Merchandise with MADE Now at Disney Parks
Have you ever wanted to get fantastic personalized official Disney gear? Well, now you can! Here are all the details from Disney cast member Kelsey Noland.
The Marketplace at Disney Springs has always been the go-to destination for personalized Disney merchandise. From our talented customization artists at Disney’s Days of Christmas (who hand-paint and hand-letter the most beautiful ornaments) to Disney’s Wonderful World of Memories where you can get your favorite pair of Mickey ears embroidered, there are so many fun ways to add a personal touch to your Disney finds. One of my favorite personalization experiences is D-Tech on Demand at Marketplace Co-Op. This unique tech boutique opened as one of the original six stores in 2014 and continues to be the ultimate destination for customized mobile phone cases, MagicBands, accessories and more.
I’m excited to share that our Disney Parks Merchandise Team has continued to evolve the D-Tech on Demand experience and is now offering MADE—a new and expanded way to customize and create your own Disney merchandise. With MADE, you’ll now be able to create customized apparel, including short and long-sleeved T-shirts, (even Disney Springs designs) from a library of Disney art to celebrate everything from family vacations, birthdays, seasonal holidays and more. (Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to customize phone cases, MagicBands, magnets, and commemorative bricks as well.) Creating your design is as easy as selecting the accessory or apparel item you’d like to customize, Disney art, choosing a color, and adding your name. Purchases are ready for pick-up in just a few hours or conveniently delivered to your Disney resort or shipped home.
Guests will start to see this new brand transitioning at current D-Tech on Demand locations inside our retail stores including:
- Magic Kingdom Park – Tomorrowland Light & Power Co.*, Frontierland Trading Post, and Curtain Call Collectables
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Star Wars Launch Bay and Celebrity 5 & 10 Shop
- Disney Springs – Marketplace Co-Op* and NBA Experience
- Disneyland Resort – Star Wars Launch Bay and Star Traders
(*At this time, customized apparel options are available exclusively at Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. and Marketplace Co-Op.)
New designs and art will be continually added to the MADE experience throughout the year so be sure to always check and see what’s new. I’m so excited to see what you create! Share your photos with us using #DisneySprings for a chance to be featured on our social media channels.
14 – Minnie Mouse Joins Special Olympics Athletes and Fans at NBA All-Star 2020 in Chicago
Minnie Mouse recently joined some very special athletes in Chicago. Disney cast member Emily Amato shares more below.
It was a slam dunk weekend when basketball’s biggest stars and greatest fans descended on Chicago for NBA All-Star 2020, and what better way to celebrate than to bring a little Disney magic to the heart of the action?
Minnie Mouse helped kick off the weekend festivities by surprising athletes after the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports® basketball game and applauding their accomplishments on the court.
Minnie then had a spotlight moment of her own, taking center court ahead of the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. The Special Olympics athletes helped to cheer her onto the court and celebrate everything that makes her Positively Minnie, including being a sports fan!
Throughout the weekend, Walt Disney World Resort shared the excitement and energy of NBA Experience with basketball’s biggest fans. The new first-of-its-kind venue at Disney Springs lets fans experience the NBA through 13 immersive basketball-themed activities. Coming June 5-11, 2022, Orlando will also host 4,000 Special Olympics athletes, 1,500 coaches, and over 10,000 volunteers from across the United States at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort!
Check out the highlight reel from all of the NBA All-Star action in this video, and be sure to visit NBA Experience at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World to take on the basketball skills challenges for yourself!
15 – ‘The Little Mermaid’-Inspired Collection by Betsey Johnson Now at Disney Parks
There’s a new ‘The Little Mermaid”-inspired collection that is now available at Disney Parks. Disney cast member Anthony Armenia shares more below.
I don’t know about you, but “The Little Mermaid” has always been one of my absolute favorites, being the first movie I saw in theaters as a child. Now, over 30 years after the film’s release, Betsey Johnson has collaborated with Disney Parks blending these beloved characters with her whimsical and bold aesthetic to create a splash-tastic collection inspired by Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Little Mermaid.”
From a variety of jewelry in the Disney Parks Collection x Betsey Johnson to an all-new headband in the Disney Parks Designer Collection as seen above, you won’t want to miss out on these limited release items coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort [now available] and coming in March to shopDisney.com!
First up, featured above is a sequin-filled Minnie Mouse ear headband from the Disney Parks Designer Collection featuring reversible sequins and a bedazzled Flounder and Sebastian along with my favorite hair styling tool, a dinglehopper! Which sequined look will you pick, teal or coral?!
Want to be the girl who has everything? Then check out the matching jewelry collection featuring bedazzled characters including Flounder and Sebastian along with thingamabobs aplenty! Whether you are looking for a nautical necklace or bold bracelet, shop the full jewelry collection at shopDisney.com.
Make Ariel “part of your world” and find this collection at select locations including the Ever After Jewelry Co. & Accessories at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort and The Disney Dress Shop at Downtown Disney District at Disneyland Resort. For those of you who can’t make it to the parks, these treasures will also be available online in March on shopDisney.com.
Keep your eyes out for even more designs beyond your wildest dreams with upcoming releases from the Disney Parks Designer Collection:
- Kevin Rafferty – March 5, 2020
- John Coulter – March 14, 2020 (Available Disneyland Resort & shopDisney.com)
- Her Universe – April 2020
- Joe Rohde – April 2020
- Her Universe – May 2020
- Cupcakes and Cashmere – Summer 2020
- Lily Aldridge – Summer 2020
- Bret Iwan – Summer 2020
- Alex Maher – Summer 2020
- Karlie Kloss – Fall 2020
- Vera Wang – Fall 2020
We’d love to see you rock this collection so be sure to use #DisneyParksDesignerCollection and share your “The Little Mermaid”-inspired looks with us!
16 – Ten-Year-Old Hannah Herman, Who Was Told She’d Never Walk, Conquered the Disney Princess 5k
runDisney races are filled with inspiring stories of athletes overcoming the odds. This past weekend was a special day for one such racer. Disney cast member Emily Amato shares more below.
For Erin and Hannah Herman, today, February 21, is affectionately known as the “Hannahversary,” marking 10 years to the day when Erin adopted Hannah from an orphanage in Kazakhstan. It was an extra special day because together they ran the Disney Princess 5K at Walt Disney World even though a decade ago, doctors doubted Hannah would ever walk.
As an infant, Hannah had been left in a maternity hospital in Kazakhstan. She was also born with a severe club foot, and the adoption agency told Erin that it was likely Hannah would never walk. Despite this challenge, Erin brought Hannah back to her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio where they immediately began treatments including surgery and physical therapy.
More than one year later, at the age of two, Hannah walked for the first time. Since then, Hannah has continued to defy the odds, running and swimming competitively. Her goal is to complete a triathlon and today, Hannah took a step toward that goal by completing the Disney Princess 5K. Hand-in-hand with her mother, who helped rewrite Hannah’s story from her infancy, Hannah conquered all 3.1 magical miles!
17 – Disney Channel Fan Fest Returns to Disneyland Resort and Expands to Walt Disney World Resort in May 2020
The Disney Channel Fan Fest is coming to Walt Disney World in May! Here are all the details from Disney cast member Donna Fisk:
Calling all Disney Channel Fans! The third annual Disney Channel Fan Fest, an interactive and uniquely Disney experience for kids and families, will kick off at Disneyland park and Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim, California on Saturday, May 9. The event will also expand to Lake Buena Vista, Florida, during the world-renowned EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort over three weekends (May 16-17, May 23-24, and May 30-31).
Fans will have multiple opportunities to mix and mingle with the casts from Disney Channel’s most popular shows. Among the activities included at the fan-focused day across Disneyland Resort are Disney’s “QUIZney” trivia challenge, learn-to-draw sessions with creators from Disney Television Animation, a sneak peek at the upcoming Disney Channel Original Movie “Upside-Down Magic,” “Descendants” and “ZOMBIES”-themed dance parties, and photo opportunities with some of Disney Channel’s biggest stars. In addition, a cavalcade down Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland park featuring today’s brightest young celebrities with favorite Disney characters will be live-streamed on the Disney Parks Blog and Disney Channel YouTube.
Fan Fest events include stars from “ZOMBIES 2,” “Gabby Duran & the Unsittables,” “Raven’s Home,” “Just Roll With It,” “Sydney to the Max,” “Coop & Cami Ask The World, “BUNK’D,” and the upcoming “Disney Fam Jam” and “Upside-Down Magic.” The learn-to-draw sessions will feature the creative teams behind “Big City Greens,” “The Owl House,” “Amphibia” and “DuckTales.”
Additional details, talent and schedule of events will be announced soon.
*Celebrity photo opportunities/meet-and-greet experiences will be available for fans with wristband distribution at park opening hour on a first-come, first-served basis and while supplies last. Cast appearances subject to change or cancellation without notice. Theme Park admission for Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World is required.
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.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Now Open
Disney Skyliner – Now Open
Epcot Forever – Now Open
The Epcot Experience – Now Open
Disney’s Riviera Resort – Now Open
Reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – Now Open
NBA Experience at Disney Springs – Now Open
Coming Soon to Disney World!
Coming in 2020
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – Opening March 4, 2020
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, March 4-June 1, 2020
Epcot Reimagined – Now Through Fall 2021 for Walt Disney World’s 50thAnniversary
Drawn to Life – New Cirque du Soleil Show – April 17, 2020
Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration – 2021
Star Wars Hotel – 2021
Disney Cruise Line’s Lighthouse Point – Disney’s 2nd Island in the Caribbean – unknown
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.