Walt Disney World to Welcome Dogs at Select Hotels

Soon Fido will be able to meet Mickey and the gang.

Beginning Oct. 15, guests will be allowed to bring dogs if they stay at select hotels at Walt Disney World. Travelers will be limited to two dogs per room, and dogs will be required to be leashed in public areas and have the proper vaccinations.

Guests who choose to bring their furry companions will pay a $50 fee per night at three of the hotels (Art of Animation Resort, Port Orleans Riverside Resort and the cabins at Ft. Wilderness Resort) and $75 nightly fee at the Yacht Club Resort. The fee will go towards extra cleaning for the rooms.

To make dogs’ stay more comfortable, Disney provide amenities for their four-legged guests, including a mat, bowls for food and water, an ID tag and puppy pads. Guests will also receive plastic disposable bags and maps of green spaces for dogs to walk around. The rooms will also come with a specific “Do Not Disturb” sign to alert hotel staff if a dog is in the room.

The move was likely driven by Disney’s competition with other Orlando-area resorts, said Melissa Halliburton, president and founder of pet-travel website BringFido.com. In particular, three on-site hotels at nearby Universal Studios which is pet-friendly. Halliburton said Orlando is in the top five most-searched destinations on her site.

“For years, families have struggled with the decision whether to bring their four-legged companions along on vacation to the Most Magical Place on Earth,” Halliburton said. Previously, visitors who wanted to stay on Walt Disney World property could bring dogs to the campgrounds at its Ft. Wilderness Resort. Service dogs are also allowed in the parks, and there are pet rest stations throughout.

The news was met with mixed reactions. Dog-lovers celebrated the change, while those with allergies and aversions to dogs were concerned about the implications.

Though Disney did not specify its plans, Halliburton said it’s likely the company will take precautions to ensure other guests are comfortable. “Most hotels set up a particular floor for pets, so people with allergies are never assigned a room on that floor and don’t deal with any residual dander,” she said.

Pet-friendly accommodations are a growing trend in the travel industry. Some 53% of travelers vacation with their pets, according to travel news site Skift, citing a TripAdvisor survey.

Millennials are driving this trend, Halliburton said. “They are choosing to have children later in life — but their dogs have taken that spot in their hearts, and they want to travel with them,” she said. For those looking to travel to Walt Disney World with their animals, Halliburton recommended they plan ahead to ensure they get a pet-friendly room and bring a copy of their vet’s records and a photo of their animal in case it gets sick or goes missing.

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Walt Disney World Completes Candlelight Processional Narrator Line-Up

Walt Disney World has completed its line-up for the celebrity narrators for this year’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot.

Disney Legend Kurt Russell, who has starred in Disney films from the 1960s to 2017’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” will read the Christmas story this year – as well as gold- and silver-medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez. Two veterans of the event – actress/comedienne Ana Gasteyer and Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” – complete this year’s list.

As previously announced, new narrators for this year’s lineup include Matt Bomer (“White Collar,” “The Last Tycoon,”); Star Wars fan favorite Warwick Davis, who played Wicket the Ewok in “Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi;” Daytime Television Legend Pat Sajak and TV star CCH Pounder, who was recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the grand opening of Pandora – The World of Avatar.

And returning this year are everyone’s favorite hard-driving Dr. Bailey from “Grey’s Anatomy,” Chandra Wilson – and newly-named Disney Legend Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of ABC’s “The View.”

Below is the full list of narrators:

  • Nov. 24 – 26 – Laurie Hernandez
  • Nov. 27 – 28 – Matt Bomer
  • Nov. 29 – 30 – Ana Gasteyer
  • Dec. 1-3 – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Dec. 4-5 – Pat Sajak
  • Dec. 6-8 – Jodi Benson
  • Dec. 9-11 – Kurt Russell
  • Dec. 12-14 – Warwick Davis
  • Dec. 15-17 – Trace Adkins
  • Dec. 18-21 – Neil Patrick Harris
  • Dec. 22-24 – CCH Pounder
  • Dec. 25-27 – Jaci Velasquez
  • Dec. 28-30 – Chandra Wilson

The Candlelight Processional is performed three times every night (5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 PM) during the holiday season at the America Gardens Theatre. Dinner packages are available which include meal and a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances.

In addition to the lunch and dinner packages, breakfast options are again available at some restaurants in and near Epcot such as Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and The Garden Grill. Breakfast, lunch and dinner options are also available this year at Captain’s Grille at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, with breakfast and dinner options being offered at Trattoria Al Forno at Disney’s BoardWalk.

Candlelight Dining Packages for breakfast start at $35 plus tax per person for adults and $21 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9. Candlelight Dining Packages for lunch and dinner start at $44 plus tax per person for adults and $15.50 plus tax per person for children, ages 3-9.

The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays which includes the Candlelight Processional, takes place in 2017 from November 24 – December 30 at Epcot.

Kevin Feige Wants a Marvel Convention Separate from Comic-Con

If you enjoy attending cons like NYCC and SDCC to get a first glimpse of the latest Marvel news, you might want to start planning different travel arrangements. MCU head honcho Kevin Feige recently said he’s keen to see a Marvel-specific convention, similar to Disney’s Star Wars Celebration event. Good news for Marvel fans, not such good news for regular Comic-Con attendees. The Marvel convention news awaits you below.

Well, this was probably inevitable. Disney, in their never-ending quest for entertainment world domination, currently owns both Marvel and Star Wars. That’s a hefty chunk of pop culture entertainment, and with that comes the inevitable convention gatherings where exciting new projects are announced. For most of recent history, events like SDCC were the site of the biggest announcements. But the times they are a changing.

In recent years, Star Wars Celebration, first started in 1999, has eclipsed Comic-Con as the location for big Star Wars news. With the Star Wars Celebration only growing bigger and better, it was only a matter of time before Marvel made the jump to their own con as well. Then there’s the biennial D23 Expo, which recently featured Marvel announcements alongside events for Star Wars. Marvel President Kevin Feige is out making the rounds to help promote promote Thor: Ragnarok right now, and dropping hints left and right of things to come. In a new interview with Fandango, Feige talks about how there have been many discussions regarding a Marvel-only con, and how much he’d like to make it happen:

“Over the years there have been discussions about that […] I think what we try to do occasionally in San Diego we’re very proud of and think is a fun tradition. That being said, I think [Star Wars] Celebration is pretty amazing. I’ve been to a few Celebrations and the idea of doing something like that … I think we have enough content, and enough fans, and enough ideas that we could easily do something like that, I’m just not sure where or when.”

When and if this finally happens (and let’s be honest, it probably will), the question that arises is: what becomes of Comic-Con? With no Marvel and Star Wars, does Comic-Con wither away and die? Or will it soldier on with other big events surrounding companies like DC? Marvel and Star Wars may be big, but are they big enough that their absence at an event would sink the event completely? Time will tell. At the very least, the big movie studios pulling out would let Comic-Con be about comics again.

From SlashFilm

Tickets Available Now for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience by ILMxLAB and The VOID

Tickets are now available for a new hyper-reality experience, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire by ILMxLAB and The VOID, an offering that will debut at Disney Springs at the Walt Disney World Resort December 16, and at Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort, January 5, 2018.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will transport guests deep into the Star Wars universe, walking freely and untethered throughout the multisensory experience with friends and family. In groups of four, teams will go undercover as stormtroopers to capture Imperial intelligence vital to the budding rebellion’s survival.

Check out the video for a first look inside the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire experience.

Find ticket information and more for Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire now at www.thevoid.com.

Disney Launches Vacation Gifting Site

Disney has launched GiveDisneyVacations.com. The site is a new way to gift someone something as little as a $25 gift card and other gifting options all the way up to to an Adventures by Disney vacation or even a membership with Disney Vacation Club.

Guests can choose from Disney Gift Cards, Theme park tickets, and entire vacations with Adventures by Disney, Aulani, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort, Disney Vacation Club and Walt Disney World Resort.

As a special introductory offer, available now through November 15th, guests can purchase a special Walt Disney World Resort package for any time during the 2018 calendar year. The package will consist of a 6-Night/7-Day room and ticket package at one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts for $96 per person, per night. The resort package will be delivered in a special holiday gift box, and delivery is guaranteed before December 15th.

Disney Announces Filming Dates for ABC Holiday Specials

Disney has announced that filming will take place in early November for the upcoming ABC Holiday Specials to air on ABC and Disney Channel

Continuing last year’s new format, there will be multiple shows, set to air throughout the holiday season, in November and December. Airing dates have not been announced yet.

Filming at Walt Disney World will take place November 3 – 7. No parade will be filmed at Walt Disney World, like last year, but stage show performances including musical acts will be filmed in Florida. The parade will be filmed at Disneyland Resort in California.

There will not be any tickets available to guests.  Cast Members will be filling in the audience as extras. It may be possible to see parts of the filming from guest areas however.

Disney Shelves ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ Film ‘Gigantic’

Gigantic, Disney Animation’s original feature project that was to have been released in 2020, is being shelved.

The project was being developed as an updated take on the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale, in which Jack befriends a female giant.

Inside Out co-writer Meg LeFauve and Nathan Greno (Tangled) were directing the project while Frozen songwriters Robert Lopez and Kirsten Anderson-Lopez were to have written songs for the film.

But according to the studio, creative walls were being hit.

“It’s impossible to know when we begin a project how the creative process will unfold, and sometimes, no matter how much we love an idea or how much heart goes into it, we find that it just isn’t working,” said Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios president Ed Catmull. “With Gigantic, we’ve come to that point, and although it’s a difficult decision, we are ending active development for now. We are focusing our energies on another project that has been in the works, which we’ll be sharing more about soon, now set for Thanksgiving 2020.”

Details regarding the new project were not revealed, although insiders said it would be an original feature.

Animation is known for its long development process and it is not uncommon for projects to be put on the shelf or to morph from one concept to another. It is also not the first time Disney Animation or its sister company Pixar have taken projects off the schedule either to further work on them or shelf them indefinitely. King of the Elves and Newt were titles that had been actively in the works in the last decade that are now inactive.

Disney Animation next has Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 which opens Nov. 21, 2018 and Frozen 2for Nov. 27, 2019.

From The Hollywood Reporter

Guests can Celebrate ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ at Star Wars: Galactic Nights on December 16

Star Wars fans across the galaxy, get ready for a special celebration you won’t want to miss. Star Wars: Galactic Nights will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 – and it will be the perfect way for Star Wars fans to celebrate the opening of the new film, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Last Jedi Official Trailer

The film, which opens in theaters December 15, just shared a thrilling new trailer last night. Check it out above.

In case you aren’t familiar, Star Wars: Galactic Nights is an out-of-this-world event that celebrates the entire Star Wars saga.

Among many thrills in store, guests will be treated Hollywood-style to a red carpet arrival, iconic attractions with little to no wait time, amazing fireworks and projections, and experts sharing details about the Star Wars expansion coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Throughout the event (entertainment subject to change):

  • The Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, fireworks and Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away stage show will both be enhanced with special elements from the entire saga. In between, a DJ will keep things spinning at Center Stage for a Star Wars dance party.
  • The Epic Theater plays host to a special one-night-only panel discussion about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, sharing some of the excitement coming to the 14-acre Star Wars-inspired expansion opening in 2019 at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • Park-wide, guests can step into immersive and iconic scenes from their favorite Star Wars films in a series of incredibly detailed photo locations, including two new backdrops inspired by Star Wars Rebels and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Nights features encounters with Star Wars characters like Ewoks, AWR Troopers and roaming droids; Jedi Knights teaching younglings in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple; rocketing to the stars aboard Star Tours – The Adventures Continue; and stunning projection effects on park icons such as the Chinese Theatre. At Star Wars Launch Bay, home base for Star Wars fandom in the park, you never know what denizens from the light or dark side of The Force will appear.
  • Don’t miss Darth Vader and a battalion of Imperial Stormtroopers march menacingly down Hollywood Boulevard.
  • Even more specialty Star Wars-themed food and beverage and merchandise will be available.
  • Select park attractions will be open to all guests. At embarkation points to Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, guests may come face-to-face with Stormtroopers on the lookout for a Rebel spy.
  • Come dressed in your finest Star Wars attire. Arriving park guests will walk a red carpet that runs the length of Hollywood Boulevard. The street itself will be dressed in all the trappings of a Tinseltown premiere.

Park access and activities will be exclusive to Star Wars: Galactic Nights ticket holders. Event hours on Dec. 16 are 7 p.m.-midnight. Tickets are priced at $129 adults, $124 ages 3-9 (discounts available for Annual Passholders & DVC Members). Purchase tickets at DisneyWorld.com or call 407-W-DISNEY (407 934-7639).

Winter Summerland Closing for Refurbishment

The Summer Course at Winter Summerland Miniature Golf is currently closed for refurbishment.

The refurbishment is planned to last through November 10th.

The Winter course will closing later in the month on October 23rd.  This refurbishment is also expected to last through November 10th.

Disney’s Fantasia Gardens miniature golf will remain open as normal during the Winter Summerland refurbishment.

 

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party Now Sold Out for October 31st

WDWMagic is reporting that Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is now sold out for October 31st.

The price increases over the last few years appear to be having their intended effect.  It is taking much longer than normal for this year’s first sold out night. October 31 is typically first to sell out, and it usually happens much sooner than it did this year.

Currently all other dates remain available.