Disney Announces “Opening Seasons” for Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The galaxy that was far, far away and a long time ago just got a little closer.

On Tuesday, Disney announced that the highly anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in summer of 2019 at Disneyland and in late fall 2019 at Disney World.

Up until this point, all Disney has said about possible opening dates for either location was they would open in 2019.

While the announcement does not indicate a month or a date for the openings, it does indicate a couple of things.  First of all, it somewhat coincides with a lot of the rumors that the Disneyland version would open sometime during the summer next year.  With the statement of “Late Fall 2019” for the Florida version, confirms that construction there is behind Disneyland’s, which is in line with what many of us thought.  There had been rumors that construction at Walt Disney World had been closing the gap.  Either that speculation was wrong or if they have closed the gap that construction was even further behind than we had thought.

No specific date summer date was announced for the Disneyland opening.  There have been rumors that the actual date may be as early as late June or early July.  There also has been speculation, especially with how the return of Fantasmic in 2017 was handled, that Galaxy’s Edge may not open until sometime around the D23 Expo which returns to Anaheim August 23-25, 2019.

At this point, it’s all speculation and no one really knows.  Hopefully we’ll get more detailed information soon, but I personally would expect anything substantial until early spring 2019.

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Walt Disney World Announces Dates for Epcot International Festival of Holidays and Candlelight Processional for 2018

Earlier today Walt Disney World announced that the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays this year will take place November 18 thru December 30, 2018.

Even though we have not been able to visit Walt Disney World in November or December for a few years, this time of year has always been a favorite time to visit for me and my family.  One of our favorite things to do during this time of the year at Epcot is to attend the Candlelight Processional.

The Candlelight Processional will be returning again this year and for the first time, this popular holiday tradition will debut for the season on Thanksgiving (November 22nd) and run through December 30th.

The Candlelight Processional is a holiday must-do for many Epcot guests.  The program is a retelling of the traditional Christmas story read by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a massed choir and live orchestra.

At this time celebrity narrators have not been announced.

Also…even though Candlelight Dinner packages have been popular in the past and are expected to return, Disney has not yet released any information regarding this.

A couple of months ago Disney announced the dates for this year’s “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party“.

Incredibles 2 Sneak Peek Now Playing at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Are you looking forward “Incredibles 2” as much as I am?  Well, if you’re going to be at Walt Disney World in the next month or so, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a special treat for you.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now showing a sneak peek of the upcoming Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” in the Walt Disney Presents theater.

The sneak peek will show the first 10 minutes of the movie.  The movie is scheduled for its debut in theaters on June 15th.

Through June 29th, Annual Passholders can see a passholder-only showing between 9 AM and 10 AM.

Walt Disney World Online Lost and Found System Goes Live

Have you ever lost something at Walt Disney World and had to either call or go to Lost and Found to report the lost item?  Well, you no longer have to do that.

Walt Disney World Lost and Found has now moved online.  The new system is powered by Chargerback.  Chargerback also provides lost and found services for airlines and other tourism and entertainment companies.

Starting today, if a guest has lost an item at any Walt Disney World theme park, Disney Springs, Transportation (including busses, monorails and watercraft), ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex or Disney Water Park they will fill out a lost item report here.

Guest will no longer have to visit or phone the Lost and Found center.

Once guests fill out the online form they will receive an email notification with a Lost Item claim number. Disney will then continue to look for the item and provide you with an email update within 48 hours.  Disney will contact guests if they that they have found the item or need further information.

Nothing has really changed if guests have lost items at any hotel or on Disney’s Magical Express.

If an item was lost at any resort hotel, please contact the specific resort Lobby Concierge for assistance.

For Disney’s Magical Express please contact (866) 599-0951. If the item was lost over 30 minutes ago, please contact Mears Transportation Group at (407) 423-5566.

If guests aren’t where the item was lost, Disney is asking guests to go to the above link and fill out the online form.

According to Disney policy, highly valuable items (such as wallets, purses, credit cards, prescription glasses and cameras) are held for 90 days.

Items of lesser value (such as sunglasses, hats, toys and clothes) are held for 30 days.

 

Donald Duck Annual Passholder Magnet Arriving in WDW Soon

There soon will be a new Annual Passholder magnet for passholders to collect….Donald Duck….and I want it!

According to Disney the complimentary summer-themed Donald Duck magnet is scheduled be released on May 18, and will be available for pick up at Disney’s Hollywood Studios although an exact pick up location has not been mentioned yet.

The magnet will feature an image of Donald Duck on a teal background with a sunburst behind him.

The new magnet will be available through June 29.

 

I certainly hope they still have some available when I’m at Walt Disney World in about a month…because…have I mentioned it…I really want it.

How about the rest of you passholders?  Is this on your want list?

Walt Disney World No Longer Hosting Night of Joy

Disney’s Night of Joy event at Walt Disney World has ended.  Walt Disney World will no longer be hosting the event.

The event which began in 1983 was held at the Magic Kingdom for most of its 35-year run. For two-years it was held at at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and for the past two years it had been held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. The second night of the 2017 event was called of because of the threat of Hurricane Irma.

According to sources, Disney has not given a reason for ending the Night of Joy event, although there were rumors that there were a lot of operational difficulties in hosting the event.

A possible foreshadowing that this might be happening was when Disney included Night of Joy regulars MercyMe in the upcoming Eat to the Beat concert series at Epcot.

Dan Cockerell, Magic Kingdom Vice President Retiring

According to multiple sources citing sources within the The Walt Disney Company, 49 year old Magic Kingdom Vice President Dan Cockerell will be retiring next month.

Dan, who is the son of former Vice President of Operations Lee Cockerell, became the Magic Kingdom Vice President in 2015 during a reshuffle which saw long-time Magic Kingdom Vice President Phil Holmes move to the Studios Vice President role in a leadership swap. Prior to the move, Dan was the Vice President of Epcot. Dan has been with Disney for 26 years.

According to the sources, Cockerell will be starting a speaking and consulting company, with plans to travel.

Disney has not yet named a replacement.  Cockerell’s final day will be May 11, 2018.

Walt Disney World Announces Eat to the Beat Concert Series Line-Up

On Monday Walt Disney World announced the initial line-up for the Eat to the Beat Concert Series for this year’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.  This is the festival’s 23rd year and will run from August 30 to November 12, 2018.

New to this year’s concert series will be percussionist extraordinaire and singer Sheila E and ‘80s Canadian rockers Glass Tiger.

98 Degrees, featuring brothers and “Dancing With the Stars” alums Nick and Drew Lachey, will  bring their smooth harmonies to the festival. I’m sure there are a lot of Disney fans hoping that they’ll sing “True To Your Heart” from Disney’s “Mulan.”

Also new this year is entertainer Jim Belushi who brings his rhythm-and-blues band The Sacred Hearts to the festival this year.

Two Contemporary Christian music artists will also be joining the line-up this year.  MercyMe, who successfully branched out from music this year with the hit film based on lead singer Bart Mallard’s life called “I Can Only Imagine.”  Also, former “Royal Tailor” front man Tauren Wells, who has found some mainstream success this year, touring with Mariah Carey and Lionel Richie, will also be performing.

Returning this year are fan favorites ‘80s pop stars Tiffany and Billy Ocean, along with ’90s hit makers like Hanson and Everclear.

Swing-meisters Big Bad Voodoo Daddy also be returning and will close out the festival.

The lineup so far is:

  • 8/30-31 – Blue October – “Into the Ocean”
  • 9/1-3 – Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”
  • 9/4-5 – MercyMe – “I Can Only Imagine”
  • 9/6-7 – Glass Tiger – “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)
  • 9/8-9 – Tauren Wells – “Hills and Valleys”
  • 9/10-11 – Postmodern Jukebox
  • 9/12-13 – TBD
  • 9/14-16 – Baha Men – “Who Let The Dogs Out”
  • 9/17-19 – TBD
  • 9/20-21 – Living Color – “Cult of Personality”
  • 9/22-23 – Sheila E – “The Glamorous Life”
  • 9/24-26 – Sugar Ray – “Every Morning”
  • 9/27-28 – David Cook – “Light On”
  • 9/29-30 – Jeffrey Osbourne – “On The Wings of Love”
  • 10/1-2 – Jim Belushi & The Sacred Hearts – Various Hits
  • 10/3-4 – Everclear – “Santa Monica”
  • 10/5-7 – Mark Wills – “19 Somethin’”
  • 10/8-10 – Air Supply – “All Out Of Love”
  • 10/11-12 – TBD
  • 10/13-14 – TBD
  • 10/15-16 – 98 Degrees – “Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)”
  • 10/17-18 – 38 Special – “Hold On Loosely”
  • 10/19-21 – Devon Allman Project – “Ragged and Dirty”
  • 10/22-23 – TBD
  • 10/24-25 – Billy Ocean – “Get Outta My Dreams”
  • 10/26-28 – Starship featuring Mickey Thomas – “We Built This City”
  • 10/29-31 – Hanson – “MMMBop”
  • 11/1-2 – TBD
  • 11/3-4 – Taylor Dayne – “Prove Your Love”
  • 11/5-7 – Boyz II Men – “End Of The Road”
  • 11/8-9 – The Hooters – “And We Danced”
  • 11/10-12 – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy – “Go Daddy-O”

As you can see, the line up is not complete at this time, so check back and look for updates in the coming months.

Walt Disney World Free Dining Offer Now Available

It’s finally here!!!!

After a lot of anticipation, Walt Disney World has finally officially announced that Free Dining is back for select dates for this fall and winter and is now available.

Free Dining is being offered if guests book a non-discounted package by July 7 for at the following arrival dates:

  • August 20* – September 29, 2018
  • November 24 – 27, 2018
  • December 7 – 23, 2018

*Canada Residents may book now for travel dates beginning August 2, 2018, and Disney Visa Cardholders may book now for travel dates beginning August 2, 2018.

If guests are staying at a participting Value or Moderate Resort, they will receive the Quick Service Dining plan for FREE. (Note that guests can upgrade to the standard or deluxe dining plans by paying the difference in cost per night.)

Participating Value Resorts include:

  • All-Star Music
  • All-Star Sports
  • Art of Animation Resort (Family Suites only)
  • Pop Century

Participating Moderate Resorts include:

  • The Cabins at Fort Wilderness (campsites excluded)
  • Caribbean Beach Resort
  • Coronado Springs Resort

If you reserve a participating Deluxe or Deluxe Villa Resort, you will receive the standard Dining plan for FREE. (You can upgrade to the deluxe dining plan by paying the difference in cost per night.)

Participating Deluxe Resorts include:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Beach Club Resort
  • BoardWalk Inn
  • Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Yacht Club Resort

Participating Deluxe Villas include:

  • Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge — Kidani Village
  • Beach Club Villas
  • BoardWalk Villas
  • Old Key West Resort
  • Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

In order to take advantage of Free Dining, guests must purchase tickets that include either a minimum 4-day Park Hopper or the Park Hopper Plus option. Additionally, guest must book a  4-night minimum/maximum stay of fourteen nights.

Most people are expecting very limited availability in some cases, so don’t be surprised if your desired room category or resort is already not available or “sold out.”  Flexibility is the key when it comes to Free Dining!

Disney Releases New Pixar-Themed MagicBands

Earlier today Disney released five brand new Pixar-themed MagicBands at Shop Parks.  The movies that are being featured are Toy Story, Monsters University, Up, Cars, and Wall-E!

The brand new designs are for the MagicBand 2.0 and for the first time, two of MagicBands have designs on the center icon that is not the Mickey Head symbol we’ve come to expect.

Each of the new MagicBands sells for $22.99 plus tax and can be found in the Shop Parks app and on the Shop Disney website.

Here are the new designs –

I’m kind of partial to the Toy Story and WALL-E ones myself.  How about you?

I imagine that these new MagicBands will be extremely popular, so if you like them and want to get some, you might not want to wait around too long.  Just sayin’.