Sunday, August 26, 2012

News and Rumors 8/20/12 - 8/26/12

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 


Magic Kingdom

  • The Evening Extra Magic Hour attractions are going to be changing. Starting today, Splash Mountain will no longer be included in Evening Extra Magic Hours.  In it's place, The Enchanted Tiki Room and Country Bears Jamboree (when finished with it's refurb) will be included.  
  • A new castle projection show called Celebrate the Magic will be debuting in November.  The new show will incorporate elements from the current show, The Magic The Memories and You with all-new music, storytelling and special effects. The Magic The Memories and You will be ending on Sept. 3rd.
  • Periwinkle will be joining Tinkerbell's Magical Nook in Adventureland in mid-September.  (Rumored to be Sept. 9th).


  • Complimentary WiFi is now available at Epcot.
  • Disney announced that if will offer a new tour at Epcot called the Keep Moving Forward: See the World, Share the Dream Segway Tour.The new tour will last three hours and will include training on the Segways, breakfast at Sunshine Seasons, and a detailed tour around the 1.3 miles that is World Showcase. The tour will cost $99 plus tax for guests ages 16 and up.

Disney Resorts

  •  The beach pool area is going to get a new theme surrounded by Alice in Wonderland
  • The Turf Club at Saratoga Springs Resort will be serving dinner only starting Sept. 30th. 


  •  Toy Story Mania may be getting a holiday overlay this year.  

Going To this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival?  Make sure to read all the delicious details in this book.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

News and Rumors 8/13/12 - 8/19/12

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 


  • The Bistro de Paris will reopen with a brand new look, a new name, a new menu, along with a new, less formal feel. The restaurant is expected to be less stuffy with true French cuisine. 
  • The Boulangerie P√Ętisserie will reopen in a new area with seating for 90 and will also now feature salads and sandwiches.  Taking over the space of the Boulangerie Patisserie will be the brand new Glacier ice cream parlor.  The restaurant is expected to open in December.
  • Disney has released more of the Narrators for the Candlelight Processional: 
    Nov 23-25 — Geena Davis
    Nov 26-29 — Neil Patrick Harris
    Nov 30-Dec 1 — Whoopi Goldberg
    Dec 2-4 — Andy Garcia
    Dec 5-7 — TBA
    Dec 8-9 — James Denton
    Dec 10-13 — Jodi Benson
    Dec 14-16 — Olivia Newton John
    Dec 17-19 — TBA
    Dec 20-22 — Trace Adkins
    Dec 23-25 — Gary Sinise
    Dec 26-28 — Amy Grant
    Dec 29-30 — Marlee Matlin / Jack Jason

Disney Resorts
  •  Bay Lake Tower check-in is to be moved from the Contemporary to Bay Lake Towers. 

General WDW News
  •  The new experience, called Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality, is going to be opening September 1 at Downtown Disney. The complimentary adventure will take place near Bongos Cuban Cafe and will allow as many as three guests to virtually interact with the characters on a screen, getting the opportunity to take part in one of 20 different interactions. This experience is expected to take place daily from 2 pm – 9:30 pm and will last until Dec. 1st.

  •  The Magic, The Memories, and You is rumored to have a refurb starting Sept. 3rd.  The show is expected to be reworked into a new show and is expected to debut around the Holidays. 
  • The Character Spot at Epcot's Innoventions will be receiving a major redo.
  • The Winnie the Pooh characters are rumored to possibly be going inside the new meet and greet location that will be found in the former Beastly Bazaar. 
  • Stitch could be leaving Epcot
  • Mrs. Incredible could be leaving DHS

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Friday, August 17, 2012

It's A Jungle Out There!

By Guest Columnist Disney InsidEAR Sarah Orr

Last week Disney Parks Blog and Disney Parks InsidEARS website posted a photo and asked visitors to "Caption This." 

Here is the blog post and photo:

"You probably recognize this week’s photo from The Jungle Cruise at either Disneyland Park, or at Magic Kingdom Park.This humorous scene finds a pack of safari guides literally up a tree, while a rhinoceros and hyenas await their descent.

What are they saying to one another? How did they end up in this mess, and whose idea was this voyage anyway? You tell us."

After seeing the photo and reading the post, my mind started racing.  I started thinking about all of the "Jungle," references throughout Walt Disney World.

Here are my captions-

Guide #1: "I think this ENDS our stint as Wild Africa Trek Tour Guides."
#2: "I told you guys not to head toward the castle!"
#3: "Sorry! I wanted to see the BACKSIDE of water!"
#4: "This is not what I had in mind when I asked you to make a 'TUSKer House' reservation!"
#5: "Remember guys, what goes on in the jungle, stays in the jungle."

I thought it would be fun to think of as many "jungle" themed references, attractions and even foods and drinks in Walt Disney World as I could.  (Yes, you can mail my "Disney Geek" membership card anytime.)

Here's what I came up with:
 - The elaborate Tarzan scene in The Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios

- Jungle Juice - the mixture of orange, passion and guava juices found at:
Tusker House Restaurant in Animal Kingdom Park
Boma, the buffet style restaurant in Animal Kingdom Lodge
Kilimanjaro Club (concierge lounge) in Animal Kingdom Lodge

- Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade in Animal Kingdom Park (can been seen in the afternoons - usually around 3:45 PM)

 - Festival of the Lion King show in Animal Kingdom Park where the animals "come to life" in the jungle right before our eyes

 - Tusker House Restaurant in Animal Kingdom Park - one of my favorite character buffets - with plenty of fresh salads and breads at lunch and dinner, and plenty of jungle safari references throughout its decor

 - Wild Africa Trek - my husband, daughter and mother rave about this tour where guests get to literally trek through the jungle setting in Animal Kingdom Park.

 - Rainforest Cafe (of course) at the entrance of Animal Kingdom Park, where you can dine in the the vines of the jungle

- The Outpost in Epcot's World Showcase - great place where kids can play to the rhythm of the jungle on the African drums on display

- Swiss Family Treehouse in Magic Kingdom Park - would you like to live in the jungle?

- Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room in Magic Kingdom Park - the classic show with a cool and dimly lit jungle atmosphere

- Disney's Polynesian Resort, where I first stayed in 1972, with its lush tropical jungle foliage

- DeVine in Animal Kingdom Park - well, she IS the jungle

- Maharajah Jungle Trek, the self guided tour in Animal Kingdom Park (don't forget to speak to the cast members stationed throughout the trek for tips and hints on spotting animals and birds)

- A "Hidden Baloo"  near Harambe Marketplace in Animal Kingdom Park - Could this be a tribute to our favorite bear from "The Jungle Book?" 

Photo courtesy of Disney Parks InsidEARS website

I've come full circle and will end this post back where I started, with one last nod to those comedic tour guides and those hungry hyenas on The Jungle Cruise. 
Hopefully when those guides make it out of the jungle, they will be greeted with a refreshing Schweitzer Falls drink, created by The Jungle Cruise's Trader Sam.

Do you know who this drink is named after?  How would you caption the photo of the scene from "The Jungle Cruise?"  What are your favorite parts of the "jungle" in Walt Disney World? 

Here is the recipe so you can make it yourself! 

Schweitzer Falls (Non-Alcoholic)
4 ounces Sam’s “Gorilla Grog” (a blend of pineapple, orange, guava, and passion fruit juices, fresh lemon juice, and falernum*)
4 ounces Sprite
Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Pineapple wedge, for garnish
Mint sprig, for garnish
1.      Build in a Collins glass over ice, roll into mixing tin, and back into glass.
2.      Garnish with maraschino cherry, pineapple, and mint.
* Falernum is a sweet syrup used in Caribbean and tropical drinks. It contains flavors of almond, ginger and/or cloves, and lime, and sometimes vanilla or allspice.
*recipe courtesy of Disney Parks InsidEARS website
 Thanks Sarah for sharing your article with us here.  If you would like to read more of Sarah's work, please check out her blog called View from the Parlor:  Live, Give and Travel.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Zebra Expansion Update: Kilimanjaro Safaris

By Guest Columnist Disney InsidEAR Sarah Orr

Good news for animal lovers!  Last February, Disney announced the expansion of Kilimanjaro Safaris: 


This popular attraction will soon be enhanced with the addition of more savannah space for zebras to roam.  Guests will be able to view many more zebras while experiencing Kilimanjaro Safaris.

This photo, taken by my friend Steve Jones last week shows the area leading to the new savannah where Guests will have superior views of zebras.  

 Kilimanjaro Safaris cast members tell us the new viewing area will be open in late October or early November. 

So, who is looking forward to seeing more zebras?

 Thanks Sarah for sharing your article with us here.  If you would like to read more of Sarah's work, please check out her blog called View from the Parlor:  Live, Give and Travel.

Monday, August 13, 2012

News and Rumors 8/6/12 - 8/12/12

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 


Magic Kingdom

  • Pirates of the Caribbean will be closed for one day, October 9th.
  • Disney has announced that Pete's Silly Sideshow which will be found in Storybook Circus, will contain a character meet and greet location.  Guests will have the opportunity to meet up with the Great Goofini, Minnie Magnifique, Madame Daisy Fortuna, The Astounding Donaldo. 
  • Disney has announced that the New Fantasyland's Grand Opening will be Dec. 6th, with previews beginning Nov. 19th.  For more info, read this blog post.  It also appears that the remainder of Storybook Circus will also open around then. 

Disney Resorts

  •  The Lion King section of Disney's Art of Animation has officially opened. 

Disney Water Parks
  • Expect a meet and greet opportunity with Swampy the Gator from the Where's My Water mobile game to be found at one of the water parks soon.  


  •  There may be a refurbishment coming soon for the Jungle Cruise.  No idea on how extensive it will be, but rumors indicate that it may be quite extensive.  
  • Gaston is still expected to be a meet and greet character in the New Fantasyland.  
  • Marie from the Aristocats may be moving the the Magic Kingdom from Epcot
  • Chip and Dale could move to Frontierland
  • Captain Hook and Mr. Smee may soon be found in Adventureland. 
  • Donald may be leaving the Character Spot at Epcot.  Replacing him could be Daisy.  
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto could have a meet and greet at the Magic Kingdom.  
  • The IBM THINK exhibit may come to Epcot by the end of this year.  
  • Festival of The Lion King may close in January.  (It is rumored to be relocated to another section of the park)

Going To this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival?  Make sure to read all the delicious details in this book.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New Fantasyland Grand Opening Date Announced!

© Disney

Today has been a busy day regarding the New Fantasyland expansion!  So first, the big news!

After years of waiting, the New Fantasyland is getting SO close to opening some of it’s key attractions. Today, Disney announced that it will officially open New Fantasyland on Dec. 6th! Also announced, previews for the new area will begin Nov. 19th. (No word yet on what types of previews these would be, at least right now.)

Making their debut during this Grand Opening will be:
  • Under The Sea ~ Voyage of The Little Mermaid:  An attraction where guests will have the opportunity to travel with Ariel and friends in this dark ride with lots of songs that are featured in the movie.
© Disney
© Disney

  • Ariel’s Grotto:  A meet and greet area featuring Ariel herself.
  • The Be Our Guest Restaurant: a beautiful dining experience that will be quick service during lunch and table service during dinner.  
© Disney

  • Gaston’s Tavern:  a dining establishment featuring Gaston’s particular brand of decorating
  • Bonjour!  Village Gifts:  a brand new shop
  • Enchanted Tales With Belle:  an interactive story-telling experience with Belle and Lumiere
© Disney

Parts of the New Fantasyland have, of course, opened.  Dueling Dumbo, The Great Goofini, Casey Jr. Spray n' Soak Station, and the New Fantasyland Station have all opened. 

Once these are officially open, Disney will still have more coming down the pipeline for us! Found in the Castle Courtyard, Princess Fairytale Hall, where guests will get to reign court with some of Disney’s most famous Princesses, will open in 2013. (It will be found in the former location of Snow White’s Scary Adventures.) Then, in 2014, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a first of it’s kind, rollicking roller coaster.

© Disney

Also announced today, Disney released that Pete's Silly Sideshow, will indeed be a meet and greet location.  Guests will have the opportunity to meet The Great Goofini (stunt plane pilot), The Astounding Donaldo (a snake charmer), Madame Daisy Fortuna (a fortune teller), or Minnie Magnifique (a circus performer).  Guests will have 2 lines to choose from when they enter the tent.  The can go the path to meet Donald and Goofy or they can choose the path to meet Minnie and Daisy. 

© Disney

© Disney

© Disney

© Disney

© Disney

Lots and lots of great news today revolving around New Fantasyland.  What are you most looking forward to that's opening on December 6th?  And which character in Pete's Silly Sideshow are you most excited to meet?  Let me know in the comments section or on Facebook

Monday, August 6, 2012

News and Rumors 7/30/12 - 8/5/12

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such. 


Magic Kingdom

  • Complimentary WiFi is now available in the Magic Kingdom.  To access it, all you have to do is look for the name, Disney-Guest.  This will be rolled out to the other theme parks here soon.


  • A few acts have been added to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat Concert series.  They include:  10/11-10/12/12 Smash Mouth  10/13-10/14/12 Javier Colon, winner of "The Voice" 11/5-11/6/12 Blues Traveler 11/7-11/8/12 Dennis DeYoung, original member of STYX

Disney Resorts

  •  The Contemporary Resort's 14th floor is expected to have a refurbishment starting sometime in January and lasting until sometime in the Summer. 
  • Reminder:  The new Lion King wing at Disney's Art of Animation opens on Aug. 10th.

General WDW News

  • Disney has launched it's My Disney Experience App officially.  Check out this post for all the details.


  • The refurb for Bistro de Paris may last until Dec. 1st. 

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Disney Releases New My Disney Experience App

Disney has finally released it's new and anticipated My Disney Experience app. I thought I would take you on a little preview of just a little bit of what the app has to offer.

From the start, it is very easy.  A click-able map appears, which goes into great, up close detail of the Resort. The app also offers the ability to explore the different destinations at the Resort and what each has to offer based off of dining, shopping, entertainment, characters, guests services, attractions, and recreation.

In addition, from the main screen, Park Hours for that day, for each of the four theme parks are able to be accessed. (Park Hours can also be accessed through the More tab). Also, if you click on the Here and Now tab, which is only accessible at the Walt Disney World Resort, it will display the attractions, restaurants, and services that are nearest you.

Guests will be able to explore what attractions can be found in each park, as well as detailed information about the specific attractions. Included in the app are details like what the wait time is currently, when the Fastpass return time is, and what special requirements the ride may entail. (Such as height requirement information and whether guests will need to transfer from an ECV or not.)

You can even see what activities are happening at your resort too!

Curious about shopping choices? The app even offers descriptions of what each store carries, store hours, and where it is located in the park.

Another perk of this app is that you can actually make dining reservations online. And guess what?  It is so simple to do!  Just click on the dining tab or click on the restaurant you want to dine in on the map feature:

Then, all you have to do is select the time frame you want your reservation in and choose a time offered to you.  You can then make your reservation, along with any special dietary specifications that you may have. (Note:  You will have to be signed into your account in order to be able to make your reservation, which you will be able to do via the app as well.)

Right now, the app is currently available for iPhones and iPads, but it is expected to roll out to the Android market soon, and potentially to other devices as well.

Of course, this is just a tip of the iceberg of what this app can and eventually will do.  It will be interesting to see how this progresses and how it will eventually play into the NextGen Project.

What are your thoughts about the new My Disney Experience App?  Will you download it?  What is your favorite feature so far?  Make sure to share on the Facebook page.