What’s New Wednesday: December 2nd edition

Happy December Disney fans! It’s the most wonderful time of the year so the song goes! There is a LOT of wonderful new things around Disney parks, so let’s get right to it…

Walt Disney World

  • Star Wars Launch Bay is up and running. This provides Disney and Star Wars fans with all sorts of new and fun experiences. You can follow the Path of the Jedi to give even the seasoned Star Wars fan walk down Luke Skywalker’s journey to becoming a Jedi.
    • There is a line to get into Launch Bay (there is a posted time above the entrance – typically about 15-20 minutes). It doesn’t seem like guests are getting “kicked out” after a certain period of time, so times may vary.
    • Launch Bay also offers 2 unique character meet and greets – The Dark Side: Darth Vader and The Light Side: Chewbacca. Both are reported to be a great experience and worth the wait (lines have ranged in the 40-70+ minutes in the first 2 days).
    • For Disney Visa Card holders, you have a special meet and greet available to you beginning at 11 am. You must show your Disney card and up to 6 guests may enter under that single card. (if you have a party larger than 6, you must be able to show a 2nd card)
  • Yacht & Beach Club is hosting a New Year’s Eve spectacular. This is available for Walt Disney World resort guests ONLY for an exclusive countdown to midnight. There are 3 different experiences and all-you-care-to-eat menu and beverage “reception” to enjoy and booking is available now. Like any “limited time” experience, expect it to go quickly!
  • The World of Disney Store in Disney Springs went through an expansion (so the largest store on Disney property just on bigger) adding an additional 6,000 square feet of space! If you can’t find what you need here, you probably won’t find it anywhere!!

Disneyland

  • The new Paint the Night Parade will offer dining package beginning January 11. You can book a reservation at Blue Bayou or Aladdin’s Oasis. At Blue Bayou, you will have a 3 course meal and seating area will  be on Main Street! At Aladdin’s Oasis, you have a choice of 3 entrees and have the option to take your meal to go or enjoy it in the restaurant’s seating area. The viewing for this location is near It’s a Small World which is where the parade starts. Reservations are not yet open, but should be available soon!

And that’s what’s new around Disney Destinations this week! Stay tuned for the most up to date information!!

What’s New Wednesday! Weekly roundup around Disney destinations

It’s a new installment here on A Little WDW Magic called “What’s New Wednesday”! It’s a way for us to get you the new information for the past week around Disney destinations (Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line for the most part with a little bit of Adventures by Disney and Aulani news here and there). It will allow both new and old readers to get the tips and tricks they love and need while keeping updated on some of the new things happening around Disney parks and destinations. So let’s check out this week’s roundup…

Disney World

  • Downtown Disney OFFICIALLY becomes Disney Springs today! It’s an exciting transition that has been in progress for a few years now. All of the online presence on Disney’s web sites now says Disney Springs. They have been working on changing signage around property over the last month or so.
  • Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs will be opening this week! Another great addition to the area providing some unique and delicious dining. You will see this location available for dining on DisneyWorld.com/Dining in the coming months
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hanger Bar is now open in Disney Springs! This nod to Indiana Jones has been a popular destination since it’s opening. This location does not accept Disney’s dining plan, but it’s a great place to grab a drink and some tapas style appetizers.
  • Hollywood Studios popular Jedi Training Academy will be closed for a refurbishment beginning October 4th. No word on how long this refurbishment will last, but lots of disappointment fall travelers on this one!
  • TWO new promotional offers available for Disney World travel 2016 travel dates in January, February, March, and early April. Check out the full details HERE.
  • The Salute to the Military offer for military members and their families has returned for 2016!

Disneyland

  • Seasons of the Force will begin on November 16th at Disneyland which includes:
    • Star Wars Launch Bay – Offering opportunities to visit with favorite Star wars characters, special exhibits and peeks at the new Star Wars; The Force Awakens
    • Star Tours the Adventure Continues – Updated attraction with scenes from the new film!
    • Jedi Training – Trials of the Temple – Coming in December to Disneyland. It will introduce new characters and a new villain!
    • Hyperspace Mountain – Reimaging of the classic Space Mountain ride (for a limited time only)
    • Opportunity to revisit favorite scenes from classic Star Wars movies at Tomorrowland Theater (limited time)
    • Special themed food & beverage items (limited time)
  • The New Star Wars Land will break ground in early 2016 which will permanent close some attractions in Frontierland , Big Thunder Range including Big Thunder Range BBQ, Petting Zoo and Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. The last day for these attractions will be Jan 10, 2016.
  • The following Disneyland attractions will close for approximately 1 year beginning Jan 10, 2016:
    • Disneyland Railroad (all stations)
    • Fantasmic!
    • Mark Twain Riverboat & Sailing Ship Columbia
    • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Saywers Island
    • Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes

That’s this week’s WHAT’S NEW! We’ll continue to update you on important breaking changes!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your late 2015 or 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

Disney Springs New Boathouse Restaurant


IMG_8759The old Downtown Disney is slowly turning into Disney Springs.  As a veteran of West Side and the Marketplace, I must admit that I was a little sad with all the changes. (I still long for the Adventure’s and Comedy clubs) However, I do like the new additions with the smart tech parking decks (see last post) to the great new dining options.

IMG_8762One new options is the new Boathouse Restaurant which offers upscale, waterfront dining.  The atmosphere is nicely nautical from regattas trophies, boat motors everywhere, and phenomenal artwork throughout.  Disney always has that attention to detail so make sure you walk around to soak it all in.  Hopefully you will be lucky enough to get to dine in one of the “boats” – how fun!!  If not, then no worries since every seat has a great view of the water.  I personally like the outside, dining area- if the weather will cooperate.IMG_8763 2

The menu made it hard to choose from all the great choices and a bit pricey however, the meals are good size so you are able to share many dishes.  My sister and I halved the Stuffed Crab BLT sandwich which was a special for the day and it was incredible.  It got two thumbs up from her as well who knows her crabs being from Annapolis!  I can’t wait to go back for the surf n turf!IMG_8761 2

IMG_8802 2

The best “show” is outside of the restaurant which is the new Amphicar which is a car AND a boat!  You can experience your own cruise experience with a guided captain for a 25 minute boat tour of Downtown Disney as it floats on the water.  The aqua-car has seating for four with the price tag of $125 and you can purchase the tickets in the gift shop.  We stood for a while and watched the Captain drive a family into the lake with a splash.  It was fun to cheer them on from the shore as they floated away from the dock.  I believe that this is the only place in the world to ride in these great vintage vehicles so don’t miss seeing it while around Disney Springs!

Lastly, do not forget the gift shop. I have to mention the ducks.  Yes, I said ducks.  They are in every “theme” you can think of and only $20.  My kids LOVED the ducks and they were fun to see all the many different ones to choose from.

IMG_8764

If you are ready to eat at the new Downtown Disney/Disney Springs restaurants or float away in the Amphicar then: Please contact me at any time for a free quote or use the form below. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!) If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, please feel free to use the contact form below.

Friday Five: 5 Things in I’m looking forward to in 2016 at Disney World

It’s Friday, time for another edition of Friday 5. Today we’re looking forward to 2016 as we’re just a few more sleeps away from 2016 package rages being release (June 22nd).

1. The completion of the transition from Downtown Disney to Disney Springs. This has been a LONG time coming. I can remember walls going up several years ago. Each trip, things look a little bit better, and the completion of Disney Springs is scheduled for 2016. Hopefully all of the horrid construction on Buena Vista Drive will also be complete for those that are driving and for those trying to get there around dinner time with long, long bus waits due to traffic jams!

2. The opening of the new Frozen ride. Disney announced at the closing of Maelstrom in October that the location would be reimagined to a Frozen themed right in the Norway pavilion of Epcot. Whether you are excited or annoyed by the change, I’m excited to give some more kid appeal to Epcot World Showcase. The scheduled opening is May 1, 2016. I’d expect lines to be absolutely insane for the foreseeable future. Get your FastPasses early and often!

3. The completion of Polynesian Village. Another long project that was a big mess for a long time! The Polynesian Village & Villas will be complete in early 2016 (no official date). I’m so excited to see the completion of the resort and check out the DVC rooms for ourselves!

4. Hollywood Studios transition. Lots of things seem to be in transition at Disney including Hollywood Studios. The addition of another Toy Story Track (big WOOHOO from this girl!) Lots of empty buildings as well. It’s in need of a facelift. In conversations earlier this year, a Disney exec said a name change is also on the way. I have no idea of speculation what it will be! My husband and I have been trying to think of interesting options and I have nothing!

5. More changes for 2017 and beyond! Who knows what other projects will be upcoming! Disney is always innovating with unique options to keep people like me excited and returning year after year. They never disappoint either! 2014 brought the addition of the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train. 2015 had a handful of transitions started and Starbucks locations opening in all 4 theme parks now (Animal Kingdom JUST opened!!)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!