Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, Aug 22, 2015

There are exciting new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida!  Join us every week to read about what’s new “Around the Mouse.”  This week’s Walt Disney World news update features: a new restaurant coming to the Magic Kingdom, a new dessert party for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, new lands coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and so much more.

What’s New This Week?

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Magic Kingdom Park

New! Jungle Skipper Canteen Coming to Magic Kingdom Park Late 2015: Jungle Skipper Canteen, a new table service restaurant, will open later this year in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom. The restaurant will be staffed by servers looking to feed weary travelers with a side of Jungle Cruise Skipper humor. The location’s storyline is an extension of the classic Jungle Cruise attraction, a beloved Guest favorite since it was introduced at Disneyland Park in 1955. Jungle Skipper Canteen will serve lunch and dinner inspired by the flavors of Africa, Asia and South America. The restaurant’s soft opening is expected in late 2015.

New! Happy HalloWishes Dessert Party:  New for 2015, Magic Kingdom Park will offer a premium dessert package during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights. The package is $69 for Guests ages 12+ and $39 for Guests ages 3-11 and includes reserved viewing for Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and a commemorative mug filled with candy in addition to the reserved fireworks viewing and dessert offering. The regular Wishes Dessert will not take place during Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party nights. Guests must have admission to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party to attend the dessert premium package. Tables are laden with goodies such as Halloween-themed chocolate-dipped strawberries, adorable ghost meringues, candy corn panna cotta, peanut butter-chocolate pretzel “witch fingers,” spiced pumpkin cheesecake brownies, peanut butter “spider” whoopie pies, seasonal fruits and cheeses, hot chocolate, signature lemonades and Halloween specialties, and coffee and tea. Little ones will love mummy cupcakes, candy corn cupcakes and “worm and dirt pots.” Have a toast with family and friends with sparkling cider! And a skull mug filled with candy is your very own trick-or-treat takeaway.

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New! Snow White and Mary Poppins Character Meetings: Snow White and Mary Poppins are now appearing in the West Plaza Gardens. They will appear here periodically and may also still use their former meeting locations too. This was originally scheduled to end on August 19th, but has been extended. It’s unknown at this time for how long it will continue.

Reminder! Adjusted times for Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party: Due to work on Main Street, U.S.A, Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! will be presented at 12:30 and 5:40 p.m. on Aug 31. Also during these dates, the Main Street Trolley Show will use the Main Street Fire Truck.

Epcot

New! Update from D23 Expo: At Epcot A new film called Soarin’ Around the World will debut in 2016 and will take Guests on a journey to far-flung lands, where they will fly above some of the most unique natural landscapes and soar over man-made wonders.

New! Frozen Ever After, Royal Summerhus Details Released: New details were released at the D23 Expo on the Frozen Ever After attraction and neighboring Royal Summerhus that are currently being constructed at Epcot. Here’s some info from the Disney Parks Blog:

The Frozen Ever After attraction will transport guests to Arendelle just in time for the “Winter in Summer” celebration. According to Portfolio Creative Executive Kathy Mangum, the attraction’s project team is currently partnering with many of the talented individuals at Walt Disney Animation who helped bring the original “Frozen” film to life, as well as award-winning composers Bobby and Kristen-Anderson Lopez.

Frozen Ever After

“We’re also expanding the Norway pavilion with the addition of the Royal Summerhus – a charming cabin where guests will be able to meet Anna and Elsa,” Kathy said. “This cabin is based on an actual historic log cabin in Norway. In fact, in order to make sure we get the character and detailing right, we just sent our project team to Norway on a research trip to study the country and its cultural arts and crafts in person, just as the film team did.

“We’re confident that this attraction will bring more guests to the Norway pavilion and increase their interest and knowledge of Norwegian culture, just as the World Showcase was intended to do.”

New! Soarin’ Around the World Coming to Epcot (and Disney California Adventure): Per the Disney Parks Blog: Beginning next year, guests at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disney California Adventure park at the Disneyland Resort will undertake a whole new Soarin’ journey when Soarin’ Around the World opens at both locations. This new experience continues the recent updates to the popular attraction, including all-new digital screens and projection systems at both locations.

Soarin’ Around the World will take guests on a journey to far-flung lands, over some of the world’s most unique natural landscapes and man-made wonders. It will use the same technology that will make the Shanghai attraction, Soaring Over the Horizon, so spectacular, ensuring that the very best Disney has to offer can be experienced at Disney Parks around the world.

New! Remy’s Hide & Squeak to Debut at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival 2015: Beginning September 25, while supplies last, take part in Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak and help Remy as he ventures around World Showcase at Epcot collecting ingredients for his signature dish, Ratatouille. Record your discoveries as you help Remy find each ingredient by placing the corresponding sticker on the specially themed map to represent that location. Maps and stickers can be purchased for $9.95, plus tax at the following locations in the park. Note: Maps, stickers and surprise available while supplies last. No discounts apply. Purchasing limits may apply. Whether you choose to search for each ingredient or not, return your map to the redemption location at Port of Entry by November 16, 2015 at Port of Entry to pick up your surprise. You will have the opportunity to receive one of the pins featured here.

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New! Enter ‘The Chew’ Sweepstakes to Win at a Trip to Epcot International Food & Wine Festival: Want a chance to win a trip to Walt Disney World Resort during the most delicious time of year? The Emmy award-winning ABC hit show “The Chew” will visit Walt Disney World for the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – and they are giving you (and three of your guests) a chance to win a visit too. The Chew’s Magical Culinary Adventure Sweepstakes includes a visit to Walt Disney World Resort during the week of October 8-12, 2015, the opportunity to attend a live taping of The Chew, a stay at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort (within walking distance of Epcot), and a chance to dine at one of the newest restaurants in Downtown Disney – The BOATHOUSE. You’ll even get to ride an amphicar.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

New! Disney’s Hollywood Studios Expansion Plans: Disney’s Hollywood Studios is expanding, taking Guests:

To Far Away Galaxies

  • A new, 14-acre Star Wars-themed land that will transport Guests to a never-before-seen planet with two signature attractions, including a customized secret mission on the Millennium Falcon and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts Guests in the middle of a climactic battle.

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Coming Soon

  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue will include a new adventure featuring locations and characters from the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
  • Star Wars Launch Bay will take Guests into the upcoming film with special exhibits and peeks behind-the-scenes, including favorite Star Wars characters, special merchandise and food offerings. Star WarsLaunch Bay will be located in the Animation Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Jedi Training Academy will be reimagined and include new characters from the popular Disney XD series “Star Wars Rebels.”
  • Season of the Force – Beginning in early 2016, this new seasonal event will give Guests the opportunity to close out weekend nights with a new fireworks spectacular set to the iconic score of the Star Wars movies.

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And to Infinity and Beyond

  • A new, 11-acre Toy Story Land will include a family-friendly roller coaster and an alien saucers attraction, in addition to the previously announced third track for Toy Story Mania.

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New! Installation Underway for The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights: Guests visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios may notice that the Osborne Lights are going up in the Streets of America. The show will occur nightly November 06, 2015 – January 03, 2016.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

New! Updates from D23 Expo: At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park:

  • “Rivers of Light,“ expected to open next spring, will combine live performers, floating lanterns, water screens and swirling animal imagery on the natural stage of Discovery River.
  • Two new animal species, African wild dogs and hyenas, were announced for the upcoming nighttime version of Kilimanjaro Safaris, which is also expected to open next spring.
  • The name for the new AVATAR-themed land was revealed: Pandora – The World of AVATAR.
  • The name of the E-ticket attraction, which is the centerpiece of Pandora and will allow Guests to soar on a winged creature known as a Banshee over a vast alien world was announced: AVATAR Flight of Passage.
AVATAR-Inspired Land Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

© Disney. All Rights Reserved

New! Kali River Rapids to Operate During Extra Magic Hours: Starting Sunday, Aug 23, Kali River Rapids will operate during Extra Magic Hours. This may be a seasonal change.

New! Early Entry Made Permanent: After successful tests, allowing guests to enter the Oasis area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom up to 30 minutes prior to the published park opening (on days other than those offering Extra Magic Hours), this change is now permanent. During this additional time in the park, Guests can make FastPass+ selections, rent strollers or wheelchairs and receive help from Cast Members to make the most of their day in the park. Attractions, shows and other experiences available within Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be available after the published park opening time, typically 9 a.m.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

New! Gasparilla Island Grill Closed for Refurb at Disney’s Grand Floridian: Gasparilla Island Grill will be temporarily closed Aug 23 through Sept 6, 2015. During this time, Beaches pool bar will be open for breakfast and there will be grab ‘n go food options in Mizner’s Lounge.

Walt Disney World Resort- General

New! New Menu Debuts at Superstar Catering Food Truck: The Superstar Catering Food Truck on the West Side has new menu items debuting including: Mushroom Flatbread, Salmon BLT, Dueling Sliders with BBQ Beef Brisket and Pull Chicken, and Shrimp and Lobster Macaroni and Cheese.

New! The “Great Irish Hooley” Returns to Raglan Road: The “Great Irish Hooley” signifies that we’re half-way to St. Patrick’s Day, and this year the celebration returns for the fourth time with the authentically Irish weekend that only Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant could deliver! It’s a lively mix of top Irish bands, step-dancing, craft beers, stellar Irish cuisine, and Celtic face-painting, all rolled into one fantastically fun festival. For the music lovers in your group, the line-up will not disappoint. Screaming Orphans, a quartet of talented Irish sisters with a passion for original pop/rock, is headlining. A new Raglan Road house band, The Raglan Roots Coalition, will keep the crowd moving. Other bands including JigJam, The West Coast Trio, The Blaggards and Cooney & Ryan, are set to provide a mix of bluegrass, folk, and traditional Irish tunes. And keep an eye out for The Blarney Stones; if lead singer Hannah Carr looks familiar, don’t be surprised – she’s a former Raglan Road Irish Dancer.  Four limited-edition craft beers brewed especially for the Hooley by Ireland’s Rye River Brewing company will be available: a Raglan Road Saison, a citrusy Raglan Road Fruit Salad Weiss Beer, a refreshing McGargles Jims CO2 Stout and a McGargles Francis Tropical American IPA. Of course, they’re in addition to the beer, wine, spirits, and cocktails that will be featured throughout the weekend. The rockin’ long weekend will also commemorate the pub’s 10-year anniversary – a decade of Raglan Road is definitely worthy of celebrating, so make plans to take part!

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Merchandise Events

New! Shop Disney Parks Mobile App Now Available: Shop Disney Parks, a free mobile application that allows Guests to find, buy and ship merchandise products offered at Walt Disney World Resort, is now available in the U.S. on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Currently, only merchandise from Disney-operated stores across Walt Disney World Resort is available on Shop Disney Parks with option to ship to home. Shop Disney Parks allow Guests to: Search and browse thousands of gifts, accessories, collectibles and more, many of which have never before been sold outside of Walt Disney World Resort; Use Find on Map to see what items are in stock nearby at Walt Disney World Resort stores; Scan an item in a Walt Disney World Resort store to learn more about product availability on Shop Disney Parks, add to virtual shopping bag to purchase now or save for later; Ship purchases with delivery available to all 50 states in the U.S. (not including P.O. boxes).

August 19 – 23: Take part in a special Givenchy fragrance event at Plume et Palette in the France Pavilion at Epcot.

August 21 – 22: Meet artist Whitney Pollett during a special artist signing at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 – 8 p.m., each day.

August 28 – 30: Game on! Be there for the launch of Disney Infinity 3.0 taking place throughout the day, each day, at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Be sure to watch the Disney Parks Blog for more details.

Throughout the month look for other additional appearances and signings at select World Showcase pavilion locations in Epcot, including Le Plume et Palette and La Signature in France, The Tea Caddy in the United Kingdom and Puffins Roost in Norway.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.

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About Siera Duiser

Hello, my name is Siera and I am a travel agent with Destinations to Explore. I have always loved to travel and have had the opportunity to travel to thirteen different countries so far. I have also been to many different parts of the United States. I love sharing about the places I have been and the places I would love to see as well as some tips and tricks I have learned along the way.