Mission: SPACE ‘Relaunches’ August 13th With Brand New Experiences

Starting August 13th, Epcot will relaunch Mission: SPACE with a brand new experience and an enhanced version of the “classic” attraction.

  • If you think you’ve got “the right stuff,” take on the Orange Mission for a truly intense experience that lets you feel the force of an actual space launch en route to Mars. On this mission, you’ll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon and attempt a precision landing on the Red Planet’s alien surface. This “mission” has been enhanced with new, HD video to make it even clearer – I can’t imagine!
  • Or, embark on the more family-friendly Green Mission – a new mission that takes you on an exciting orbit around Earth. On this amazing new adventure, you’ll take in sites like the Hawaiian Islands, Italy’s “boot” and the Northern Lights—as seen from space, of course—before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. No matter which mission you choose, it’ll be a journey that’s totally out of this world.

In addition to all the “mission” updates, Walt Disney Imagineering have also made this attraction MORE family-friendly. Younger astronauts can now ride – the height restriction will be changed for the Green Mission side with the addition of new X-2 booster seats allowing children 40-44” to ride.

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Legendary Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar Dies at Age 83

Legendary Disney Imagineer Martin A. “Marty” Sklar passed away in his Hollywood Hills home on Thursday. He was 83. During an illustrious career spanning 54 years, Marty worked closely with Walt Disney and was instrumental in creating, enhancing and expanding Disney’s creative vision. Named a Disney Legend in 2001, he is best remembered and revered by fans around the world for his work bringing Disney’s theme parks to life.

“Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to Walt himself. No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we’ll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit.”

Born in New Brunswick, N.J., on February 6, 1934, Marty was a student at UCLA and editor of its Daily Bruin newspaper when he was recruited to create The Disneyland News for Walt’s new theme park in 1955. After graduating in 1956, he joined Disney full-time, and would go on to serve as Walt’s right-hand man—scripting speeches, marketing materials, and a film showcasing Walt’s vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot. During this period, he also joined WED Enterprises, the forerunner of Walt Disney Imagineering, and he would later become the creative leader of Imagineering, leading the development of Disney theme parks and attractions for the next three decades. He retired as Executive Vice President and Imagineering Ambassador on July 17, 2009, Disneyland’s 54th birthday. Disney marked the occasion by paying tribute to Marty with the highest Parks and Resorts recognition, dedicating a window in his name on Disneyland’s City Hall.

“Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year. We will dearly miss Marty’s passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.”

Bob Weis was one of those Imagineers. “Marty was one of Walt’s most trusted advisors and helped turn his most ambitious dreams into reality. For us, it’s hard to imagine a world without Marty, because Marty is synonymous with Imagineering,” said Weis, President, Walt Disney Imagineering. “His influence can be seen around the world, in every Disney park, and in the creative and imaginative work of almost every professional in the themed entertainment industry.”

Marty’s impact and achievements were recognized with a number of prestigious awards and accolades, including the Lifetime Achievement award from TEA (Themed Entertainment Association), induction into the Hall of Fame of IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), and the prestigious Professional Achievement Award from UCLA.

He also authored several books about his experiences and adventures at Disney: Dream It! Do It!: My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms (2013), and One Little Spark!: Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering (2015).

Marty is survived by his wife of 60 years, Leah; son Howard and his wife, Katriina Koski-Sklar; grandchildren Gabriel and Hannah; daughter Leslie; and grandchildren Rachel and Jacob.

Marty and Leah were two of the founders of the Ryman Program for Young Artists, a project of Ryman Arts, a nonprofit foundation whose purpose is to teach and mentor “traditional” drawing and painting skills to talented young artists in Southern California. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Marty’s name to Ryman Arts at www.rymanarts.org.

Mission: SPACE Rumored to be Changing “Orange” and “Green” Mission Names

When Mission: SPACE returns from its lengthy refurbishment later this summer, the rumor is that the missions will no longer be designated at “Green” and “Orange.”

There have been reports that the more intense orange mission will be renamed “Mars” while the less intense family-friendly version will be renamed “Earth.”

It was announced at D23 Expo 2017 recently that a brand new Green mission was coming. According to Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald, it would be like “Soarin’ around the Earth.”

Mission: SPACE is scheduled to re-open in August.

Online Check-In Now Available on My Disney Experience App

It’s been incredible to see the guest experience transform over the past four years since Walt Disney World first launched My Disney Experience in 2013. From the FastPass+ service to MagicBand 2 and Mobile Order, Disney is always exploring new opportunities to make a Walt Disney World Resortvacation even more convenient and more magical.

Earlier this year, Disney unveiled a redesigned My Disney Experience app with new features that spoke to guests’ desire for an easier way to access all of their vacation plans. Today, Disney is bringing yet another feature to the app: Online Check-In.

Guests staying at Disney Resort hotels will be able to use Disney’s Online Check-In service on the My Disney Experience mobile app, expediting their arrival while providing additional convenience, flexibility and customization of their experience. The feature enables Guests to start the check-in process up to 60 days before their arrival, bypassing the need to visit the front desk and giving families the opportunity to begin their vacation as soon as they set foot in Walt Disney World Resort. Guests complete their check-in by unlocking their room, when it is ready, using the MagicBands sent to them prior to their arrival.

With just a few taps of the screen, guests can make room requests, add credit card information and authorize charges, submit an estimated arrival time to help prompt room access, receive a notification when your room is ready and more. Please note that room requests are not guaranteed and guests must provide consent to receive notifications.

The best part? Guests can begin the check-in process at any point up to 60 days prior to your arrival date – even minutes beforehand as you’re transported on Disney’s Magical Express to your resort hotel.

Here is a short video that also explains the online check in process using the My Disney Experience App.

As always, world-class guest service is part of the magic of a Walt Disney World Resort vacation, and front desk and concierge cast members are available at all of our resort hotels to assist guests at their leisure for the duration of their stay.

To take advantage of the Online Check-In service and other features, be sure to download the latest version of My Disney Experience, now available in the App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.

Baseline Tap House to be in New Grand Avenue District at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Debuting this fall, the new Grand Avenue area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is being re-imagined by Walt Disney Imagineering to capture the spirit of present-day Downtown Los Angeles, showing vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different vibrant districts and cultures of the city. One prominent hot spot to spring up is the BaseLine Tap House, a cheerful corner pub specializing in beer and wines from California.

In a quaint brick building, BaseLine Tap House celebrates the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles by paying homage to the building’s former life as the Figueroa Printing Company, a mom-and-pop print house that had ties to the Disney studios in nearby Burbank. The space retains many of its cool architectural and mechanical details with exposed walls and old printing equipment and artifacts, blending the past and present in an inviting space. Outside is a charming tree-shaded terrace, perfect for a relaxing break in the day.

California craft ales, lagers and cider are the stars of the drink menu. California wines on tap along with specialty cocktails are not to be missed either. A gourmet non-alcoholic lemonade and soda on tap round out the drink selection.

If you’re feeling peckish, try one of the small bites, including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.

BaseLine Tap House will open daily at 11 a.m.

Pinocchio Village Haus Now has Mobile Ordering

Mobile Order is now available at Pinocchio Village Haus in the Magic Kingdom.

The service begins today, July 24 at Pinocchio Village Haus,. The quick service restaurant becomes the third Mobile Order location at the Magic Kingdom.

Later this summer,  Columbia Harbour House and Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café will be added to the line-up.

Mobile Order is currently available at Pinocchio Village Haus, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Tomorrowland Terrace, Flame Tree Barbecue, Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus, Satu’li Canteen and D-Luxe Burger

Reservations Now Open for Epcot Food and Wine Festival Special Events

 

From culinary demos to brunches, seminars and the fabulous Party for the Senses, it’s time to book ahead for the special ticketed events at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Expanding to 75 days, the festival runs Aug. 31-Nov. 13. Popular series like the “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops are back, plus daily culinary demos and beverage seminars and cheese seminars on select Saturdays in the Festival Center. And extra-special dining and pairing events are happening at a number of Epcot World Showcase restaurants.

Party for the Senses grand tasting event is back on select Saturdays, an extravaganza of food, drink and entertainment that’s a real delight. More intimate premium events happen in the Disney resorts, like the Grand Floridian Brunch With a Twist and Culinary Adventures with a Master Chef at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Get more details at EpcotFoodFestival.com, or call 407-939-3378.

Here are the links to book online:

Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort Closing Three Popular Stores

According to a Disneyland Resort spokesperson Build-A-Bear Workshop, Chapel Hats and Ridemakerz will be closing soon in Downtown Disney at the Disneyland Resort.

According to Disney the three neighboring shops are closing to make room for more dining facilities in the area.

The shops are popular, and not being closed due to poor performance issues, officials said.

Disney has said there currently is no space to relocate the shops, but if a situation arose showing where they could be put, it would be evaluated.

Annual Passholder/DVC Dining Discount Increased at Several Restaurants through Summer

Walt Disney World is increasing the discount for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members from through September 30th.

Guests that are Annual Passholders and DVC Members will now get a 30 percent discount (up from 20%) on regular price food and non-alcoholic beverages when dining during the dinner meal period before 6:30 PM or after 8:30 PM at the following locations:

  • Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort
  • The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  • Citricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • The Grand Floridian Café at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  • Boatwright’s Dining Hall at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort Riverside
  • The Turf Club Bar & Grill at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
  • Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Captain’s Grill at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort