Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, August 30, 2014

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: Mayhem at the Mansion, entertainment changes in store for Epcot’s World Showcase, resort updates, special events and much more!

What’s New This Week?

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Walt Disney World Theme Parks

New! Mayhem at the Mansion App Added to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: A new augmented reality app called Mayhem at the Mansion has been released for free via the iTunes store for use during the event. The app can be used to “capture” the three Hitchhiking Ghosts in the Magic Kingdom during the party by finding them with the help of an event map, and then “capturing” them using an iPhone’s camera. Then, guests are to “return” them to the Haunted Mansion. You can learn more at http://disneymansionmayhem.com as well as watch a demo video. Our agency owners are actually the talent you see in the video below!

New! More Villains Coming to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: This year, the Disney villains are stepping out like never before during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, featuring new and enhanced experiences. The popular “Villains Mix & Mingle – Live on Stage” returns to the Castle Forecourt Stage several times each night, with an unforgettable performance by beloved baddies from Disney films. Throughout the evening, guests interested in meeting their favorite Disney villains will now encounter them at locations around the park. Look for Jafar in Adventureland and the Queen of Hearts near Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland, while Lotso lurks near Buzz Lightyear in Tomorrowland. Another all-new feature of this year’s event, Club Villain, takes over The Diamond Horseshoe in Liberty Square with a wicked atmosphere, lively music, glowing décor, and appearances by Cruella De Vil, Dr. Facilier, Anastasia, Drizella, Lady Tremaine, and more! They are also introducing enhancements to Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade, including the expansion of the Phineas and Ferb Creepa Crew pre-parade interactive experience to more of the parade route and the first-ever appearance of Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope in the parade.

New! Villains’ Sinister Soiree Event Added to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Reservations are now open for this fun new event at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party: Villain’s Sinister Soiree: A Wicked Takeover of Cinderella Castle. For $99 per person (Age 3 and up), you will enjoy preferred viewing for Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade and the HalloWishes Fireworks Spectacular. Then you will head to Cinderella’s Royal Table for devilish desserts and wicked entertainment in celebration of the villains’ favorite time of year. Lady Tremaine takes over Cinderella’s Royal Table after everyone has gone to bed, and she’s invited some of the most evil friends and special guests for a decadent dessert party (maybe you’ll see the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Cruella de Vil or Dr. Facilier?). Tickets for the soiree are limited and reservations recommended! Call 407-939-5262 – no online reservations.

New! “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party Coming to Magic Kingdom Park: This fall, “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party at Magic Kingdom Park is getting a fresh, contemporary look and sound – plus a brand new name – when it becomes the “Move it! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party. This new procession will feature new music, new characters, refreshed floats with new video elements, and new opportunities for Guests to become part of the show. The fun begins on Main Street, U.S.A., as a high-energy party anthem heralds the arrival of favorite Disney characters – including new additions Stitch and Phineas & Ferb – who parade toward Cinderella Castle as the emcee, stilt walkers, and the rest of our party peeps encourage everyone to join in. Things heat up in the Central Plaza when hosts Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy appear atop giant gift boxes, leading everyone in a medley of remixed classic party songs. Once Guests have moved it, shaken it, and danced it, they decide what comes next, by voting for one of three current hits during the “Play It!” part of the show. The “Move it! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party will be presented several times daily, starting this fall. In the meantime, Guests can still enjoy the “Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!” Street Party each day at Magic Kingdom Park.

Reminder! Some Performances of Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Cancelled: Due to upcoming concrete work on Main Street, U.S.A., there will not be morning performances of the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party on the following dates: Aug 29, Sept 10, 11, 15, 17. The parade will only perform at 5:40 and 7 p.m. on these dates.

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New! Entertainment Changes Coming to World Showcase at Epcot:  Beginning this fall, Epcot will be refreshing the atmosphere entertainment around World Showcase with the addition of new acts and enhancements to some existing performances. New experiences debuting over the next several months will contribute to the rich mix of entertainment at Epcot, and provide fresh experiences for our guests. In the near future, you can look forward to enjoying a traditional Berber music and dance troupe in Morocco, a corps of dynamic flag-waving performers in Italy, a thrilling lumberjack-inspired show in Canada, a Celtic folk music ensemble at the United Kingdom, and more. We will all bid a fond farewell to Mo’Rockin’, Off Kilter, Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps and World Showcase Players over the next few weeks.

New! Meet Paul Briggs at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: On Friday, Aug. 29, meet Paul Briggs, Head of Story for Disney’s “Frozen” as well as the voice of Marshmallow. Paul’s other recent works include “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled” and “Mulan”. Paul will be on hand to sign “Frozen” inspired merchandise from 4 – 5 p.m. at Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Limit two (2) items signed per Guest per Artist. We ask that you bring no personal items to be signed. Appearances are subject to time and availability and are not guaranteed.

Reminder! Night of Joy Returns to Magic Kingdom: Ride, rock and rejoice as Night of Joy returns to Magic Kingdom Park on Friday, Sept. 5 and Saturday, Sept. 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Christian contemporary music celebration combines high-energy sound with spiritual worship for two enjoyable nights. Guests can enjoy performances from well-known Christian artists at three stages in Magic Kingdom Park: the Castle Stage, Galaxy Stage and Rockettower Plaza Stage. Featured headliners for this year’s event include:

  • Hillsong United
  • Chris Tomlin
  • MercyMe
  • Skillet
  • For KING & COUNTRY
  • We As Human
  • Matthew West
  • Mandisa

New! MEAC/SWAC Challenge Marching Band Showcase at Magic Kingdom: On Saturday, Aug. 30, a marching band showcase featuring the “Blue and Gold Marching Machine” from North Carolina A&T State University and the “Marching Maroon and White” from Alabama A&M University will take place at Magic Kingdom Park. This pre-parade steps off at 2:35 p.m., prior to “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” at 3 p.m. The bands represent the two schools participating in the 10th annual MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented By Disney, a college football season kickoff between teams from Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). The game airs Sunday, Aug. 31 at 11:45 a.m. on ESPN.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Reminder! Capt. Cooks at Polynesian Village Reopened: On Wednesday, August 13 the newly refurbished quick-service dining location reopened to Guests. Capt. Cook’s once again operates 24 hours each day, and is located on the first floor of the Great Ceremonial House. Dole Whip is not available at Capt. Cook’s, but it will be served in a new location at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Pineapple Lanai, which is opening soon. The new menu includes a classic lobster roll served on a buttered bun. They’ve added blackened fish tacos, a noodle bowl (beef or shrimp) and delectable coconut curry meatballs. A new gourmet hot dog is slathered with garlic ketchup and mango relish. And crispy fried chicken and waffles, a hearty breakfast favorite that stays on the menu all day. The favorite hot beef ‘n blue sandwich stays as well as the pizzas, grilled chicken sandwich and house-made sushi, delivered from Kona Island upstairs. The breakfast favorite Tonga Toast is still on the menu, along with a new breakfast burrito with egg, bacon, potatoes and Cheddar cheese.

Reminder! Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Silver Creek Springs Pool to Close for Refurbishment: The main pool and slide will be closed for enhancements at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Sept. 3 through Nov. 27. During this time, the leisure pool at The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will remain open. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit either the Main Pool at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or the Meadow Swimmin’ Pool at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Complimentary transportation will be provided to both of these neighboring resorts.

Reminder! Disney Food Truck Serving Breakfast at Disney’s All Star Music Resort: Breakfast options are available at the Disney Food Truck every day from 7-11:30 a.m. The food truck is parked near the Singing Spirits Pool Bar at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. Menu includes: Egg, bacon and cheese breakfast croissant; Kielbasa and caramelized onion biscuit sliders with sausage gravy; Strawberry-covered waffles with fresh whipped cream; donut holes and more.

Reminder! Wine Pairings at Martha’s Vineyard at Disney’s Beach Club Resort: New late-afternoon wine pairings combine food and wine with a little enlightenment, with wine experts on hand to talk about what you’re sipping at Martha’s Vineyard at Disney’s Beach Club Resort. Upcoming dates are 4-5:15 p.m. September 4, September 25, October 2 and October 30. Wineries aren’t yet announced (the last one was France’s Louis Jadot), but the Disney chefs are having fun with pairing delicious food with whatever is poured. It’s an intimate setting – no more than 18 guests, and the conversation flows with the wine. Cost varies, but is in the $20-30 range for three wines paired with three small plates, and price depends on what’s being poured. For reservations, call 407-934-3833.

Walt Disney World Resort – General

New! Monorail Operating Hours Adjustments beginning Sept. 1: With several special evening events planned at Magic Kingdom and Epcot this fall, we are adjusting monorail service hours to accommodate our Guests. Beginning Sept. 1 through Sept. 26, monorail service will run from:

  • 8:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. (midnight on special event nights) on the Magic Kingdom Resort beam.
  • 9:30 a.m. – 1 hour after Magic Kingdom fireworks on the Magic Kingdom Express beam.
  • 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. on the Epcot beam.

On Sept. 5 and 6, the Magic Kingdom Resort and Express beams will close at 2.a.m during Night of Joy. Watercraft and additional buses will be available to transport Guests to their destinations.

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New! Downtown Disney Water Taxi Service Expanding Operating Hours Aug. 31: Beginning Aug. 31, the Downtown Disney internal boat transportation service (water taxi) will expand operating hours until 2 a.m., with the last Guest pick–up at 1:30 a.m. As a reminder, this water taxi service provides transportation between Downtown Disney West Side, Pleasure Island and Downtown Disney Marketplace.

New! The Great Irish Hooley Returns to Raglan Road: The third annual Great Irish Hooley returns to Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Downtown Disney over Labor Day weekend, promising days of Irish fun! The “hooley” is a traditional Irish social festival and Raglan Road will celebrate theirs with live music, traditional dancing and delicious Irish fare. Live music begins at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 and at Saturday, Aug. 30 through Monday, Sept. 1, continuing each day and night. Looking to stretch your legs and put your dancing shoes to good use? Free workshops, “From Our Roots to Riverdance,” will be available Saturday-Monday, led by renowned Irish dancer and choreographer Ronan McCormack of the original Riverdance cast. The Raglan Road dancers will also be on hand to give traditional “ceili” (kay-lee) dancing entertainment and tips. Join in on the fun Aug. 29-Sept. 1 and visit www.thegreatirishhooley.com for more information.

Reminder! Dining Reservations Can Now be Made 20 Minutes in Advance: Dining reservations can now be made for available seatings up to 20 minutes in advance by using the My Disney Experience website or via the My Disney Experience mobile app on iOS devices. Future enhancements are planned to include the same booking feature for the My Disney Experience mobile app for Android devices. Previously, reservations could only be made for two hours in advance.

Reminder! Festival of the Masters Cancelled in 2014: Downtown Disney, which normally hosts the Festival of the Masters, is undergoing the largest expansion in its history. As they prepare for Disney Springs, much of the area that traditionally houses the Festival of the Masters is unavailable due to expansion work and unfortunately they will not be able to host the event this year.

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.