WDW Park Operating Hours & Extra Magic Hours Significantly Changed


The park operating hours and Extra Magic Hours schedule for Walt Disney World has been significantly changed in a recent calendar update.

Most of the evening Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom have been moved to different days from mid-July until the end of the year, along with morning Extra Magic Hours at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Both parks have seen significant extensions to park hour. The Magic Kingdom has seen an increase in the number of Main Street Electrical Parade performances.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has also seen changes to EMH days, and a lot of extensions to regular operating hours and additional Fantasmic! shows.

Epcot appears to have escaped any changes so far.

If you are planning, or already have a trip planned, you should double check the calendar for any changes that may impact your trip.


Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure Getting Technology Upgade

Agent P's World Showcase Adventure

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure will be getting a significant technology upgrade very soon.

The interactive game that takes place around Epcot’s World Showcase will be upgraded in order to make use of smartphones in place of the current flip phones.  Since the phones are the main interface to the game for guests the flip phones in the game feel very dated, in a world dominated by iPhones and other smartphones.

In order to make the changes, the game will be closed on June 25 and 26, with a reopening on June 27 2014.

Vinylmation Artists to Appear in WDW’s Downtown Disney for Signing


Disney fans who love Disney’s Vinylmation series will have the chance to meet some of the artists who brought their favorite characters to life this Friday.

A few weeks ago, the newest Vinylmation series, Park Starz 3, was released at Disney Parks. I love the Park Starz collections as they feature classic characters I love from attractions, shows and parades at Disney Parks. This newest series looks awesome (hello, Dreamfinder!!). On Friday, June 27, three Disney Design Group artists – Thomas Scott, Casey Jones and Caley Hicks – who designed figures in this series will be at D-Street in Downtown Disney West Side at Walt Disney World Resort. They will be signing figures and talking with fans from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. that day. I recently asked lead Vinylmation artist Thomas Scott about his favorite figures.

“I love them all, as they are my babies,” lead Vinylmation artist Thomas Scott told Disney media communications manager Steven Miller, regarding his favorite figures. “I’m a big fan of space toys, so I included a Space Mountain-inspired astronaut in this series mostly because I wanted one. I also think the turtle from Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade is one of the best figures we’ve ever designed. Casey Jones’ caveman from Spaceship Earth is also pretty unique, as he is a character rarely found on merchandise.”

There are 12 figures in this limited release series – 11 known figures and one mystery chaser figure. They are sold either in individual mystery boxes or you can get the entire series by purchasing a tray.

The artists also created some limited edition variant figures. Two of these items – the Pirate with pig and the Big Al with Trixie set – will be released on Friday, June 20. The remaining two – the Mission: SPACE astronaut and the clear Hitchhiking Ghost – will be released on Friday, June 27. These releases will take place at the D-Street locations in Florida and California where you can also find individual boxes or trays.


July Merchandise Events at Disneyland Resort

Mickey - Disneyana

Here’s a look at some of the merchandise events headed your way in July at the Disneyland Resort!

July 12: Take part in a special artist showcase with Walt Disney Imagineers, Stephen Cargile, Larry Nikolai and Mark Page as well as former Walt Disney Imagineers, Maggie Parr and George Scribner from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Disneyana in Disneyland park.

July 12: Artists Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Noah are set to appear from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District.

July 12: Meet the filmmakers behind “Planes: Fire & Rescue,” 3 – 5 p.m. at Fly n’ Buy in Disney California Adventure park. Keep an eye out for more information on this event shortly on www.DisneyParksMerchandise.com.

July 12 – 13: Jasmine Becket-Griffith will also take part in a special artist showcase from 2 – 5 p.m at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District.

July 19: Artists J. Scott Campbell, Sean Chao, Martin Hsu and Sarah “Nei” Ruffino will take part in an artist signing from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District, as we celebrate the release of some of their latest works.

Artist in Residence: Appearing at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout the month of July is Amy Mebberson. Look for artist showcases on the following dates: July 4 – 6, 11 – 13 and 18 – 20 from 6 – 10 p.m

Newsies to End it’s Unexpected Broadway Run


After a 2½ year run that defied initial expectations to become the fastest-recouping show in Disney Theatrical’s history, Newsies will conclude its Broadway stay on Aug. 24 before embarking on a national tour.

The decision comes as something of a surprise given that the show continues to play to 85 to 95 percent capacity houses at the Nederlander Theatre, and has been in profit since earning back its initial $5 million investment in record time just nine months after opening.

However, unlike other producers who tend to stick it out as long as possible, Disney has a history of shuttering productions like Mary Poppins and Beauty and the Beast before any anticipated decline in box office has time to set in.

With a little north of $100 million in grosses and admissions of just over 1 million to date, Newsies is small potatoes compared to Disney’s unstoppable behemoth The Lion King, which last year was the top-selling show on Broadway and the first in history to cross the $1 billion box office threshold. But the success ofNewsies is remarkable nonetheless, given the modest original ambitions of the production.

Retooled out of the 1992 Kenny Ortega film that starred a youngChristian Bale, the show was developed in response to numerous licensing requests and was intended as a vehicle for nonprofessional productions. While the movie was a costly flop in theaters, it later built up a devoted following in Disney Channel showings and as a home-entertainment title.

Enthusiastic critical and commercial response to the stage show’s pilot run at New Jersey’s Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 prompted Disney to try a limited 13-week Broadway engagement. Brisk early box office around the New York opening in March 2012 dictated an immediate extension, and then a subsequent switch to an open-ended run.

“From our first performance, we have been humbled by the spontaneous and genuine outpouring of affection from fans and the theater community alike,” said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions.

Newsies won two Tony Awards in 2012, for the score by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Jack Feldman, and for Christopher Gattelli’s athletic choreography. Adapted for the stage by book writerHarvey Fierstein and directed by Jeff Calhoun, the show supplements the handful of anthemic tunes from the movie with seven new songs.

Inspired by the New York City newsboys strike of 1899, the musical pits a scrappy band of orphans and runaways against such publishing titans of the era as Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst in demanding a fair deal.

The Broadway production will have played 1,005 performances by the time it closes this summer. That makes it the second-longest run in the Nederlander Theatre’s 93-year history, bested only by Rent.

The national tour kicks off in October and is scheduled for 25 cities over 43 weeks during the 2014-15 season. That includes a Los Angeles leg, running March 24 through April 19, 2015, at the Hollywood Pantages.

Disney continues to be represented on Broadway by The Lion King, now in its 17th year, and Aladdin, which opened in March and has been doing stellar business of more than $1 million a week. The latter show earned a Tony this year for featured actor James Monroe Iglehart’s scene-stealing performance as the Genie.

Maleficent Crosses Over $500 Million – Angelina Jolie’s Highest-Grossing Film of All Time


The Disney live-action film Maleficent just crossed the $500 million mark over the weekend, and is now considered actress Angelina Jolie’s highest-grossing film to date, but that’s not accounting for inflation. In North America, Maleficent has shown impressive staying power as it stayed in the top five in its fourth week, where it grossed $13 million for a domestic total of $186 million. Over on international markets, the Jolie-starrer raked in $44.7 million from 54 markets, including an impressive $20.3 million debut in China. To date, Maleficent has earned $335.6 million internationally and $521.6 million in total worldwide.

Jolie’s previous high was the action-comedy film, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which has her current partner Brad Pitt in the co-starring role, and managed to total $478.2 million in 2005. Also of note, Maleficent has now passed Disney’s other live-action hit, Oz the Great and Powerful, which has grossed over $493.3 million worldwide. While the numbers are impressive enough as it is, the film isn’t done yet, as Maleficent has yet to debut in Japan. For reference, its best international markets being Mexico ($40.4 million), Russia ($34.8 million), the UK ($25.7 million), and Brazil $24.2 million.

Walt Disney World to Host Food Truck Rally in Downtown Disney

World Showcase of Flavors Truck

Walt Disney World is cooking up a plan for hungry tourists and locals craving something a little different.

The company will hold its first food-truck rally Saturday evening at Downtown Disney with 14 food trucks from across the area, including four Disney-themed mobile kitchens representing different parks and attractions.

“This is just a natural extension of what we already do,” said James Kleinschmidt, area chef for Downtown Disney. “The trucks give us immense flexibility to bolster food service at the parks during peak times as well as give guests at Downtown Disney a taste of our other areas.”

Nine non-Disney trucks and one representing ESPN will also be at the Trucks on the Town event, which some are calling a big step forward for the Central Florida food-truck industry.

“The Florida culinary scene is already in the national spotlight,” said Mark Baratelli, founder and publisher of The Daily City blog and an organizer of area food-truck events, including Saturday’s Trucks on the Town.

“Being able to showcase our food trucks to visitors just widens the scope and feeds the local economy. This is a win-win for everyone. Small local businesses have a chance to collaborate with a corporate giant. Even though we have had strong growth over the last three years, this is an exciting move for Central Florida.”

Disney has been working with local food trucks for some time now. And fans of mobile food vendors may be surprised that local trucks roll on to the resort property at the invitation of Disney. Later this summer, Downtown Disney plans to open a permanent food-truck park between Bongos Cuban Café and the new Starbucks. And ESPN’s Wide World of Sports hosts seven to eight local food trucks at each Orlando City soccer game.

But before you rev up the engine of your kitchen on wheels, keep in mind that the trucks are invited and vetted to make sure they meet the culinary standards of the Walt Disney World Resort.

“The requirements to be on their list are stringent,” said Joey Conicella, co-owner of The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck. “Our baking operation as well as our truck was thoroughly inspected to meet their standards for food preparation and safety.”

In addition, one of the things Disney was keen on when developing relationships with local trucks was quick service, said Conicella.

“We scoped out the local food trucks before we built our vehicles, and we noticed that several trucks — even the most popular ones — had extensive menus which required people to wait a long time for their food, ” said Kleinschmidt. “We wanted great food with a quicker guest satisfaction. All of the Disney trucks have limited menus so that food can be in the guests’ hands in a timely manner.

The Disney trucks at the event are Namaste Café, inspired by the flavors of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and offering items such as butter chicken and tandoori shrimp; Superstar Catering, offering favorites from Disney’s Hollywood Studios such as Margherita flatbread; Fantasy Fare, with popular tastes from Magic Kingdom parks all over the world, including sticky chicken and waffles and Disneyland’s famous corn dog; and World Showcase of Flavors, serving pierogies and grass-fed beef sliders inspired by the theme park’s many festivals.

“We don’t see the food trucks as a waning trend,” said Kleinschmidt. “It’s going to continue to grow as people are continually inspired to seek out new flavors from here and around the world.”

The Downtown Disney event, which is from 5 to 10 p.m., will be staged on the event lawn near House of Blues and Cirque du Soleil.


“Rock Your Summer Side” Dance Party Begins Tonight at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Rock Your Summer Side

Beginning tonight and for the rest of the summer, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is inviting everyone to “Rock Your Summer Side” with a special dance party event each evening from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Live band The Hollywood Rockers takes to the Sorcerer’s Hat Icon Stage, engaging in rowdy antics and playing some of the greatest songs of summer. Between sets with the band, our DJ spins hot summertime hits, and you can get up and dance with some of your favorite Disney characters. Mickey and the gang will be dressed for fun in the sun, ready to rock their summer side, too!

Nearby, you’ll even find a giant postcard set up to mark the occasion. It’ll be a great spot to snap a selfie and share the fun with all your friends and family.

The “Rock Your Summer Side” Dance Party runs through through August 22, 2014.

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World”

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World”

Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Sneak Preview “Taste Your Way Around The World”

Where: East Hall, World ShowPlace Pavilion at Epcot®

When: Saturday July 19, 2014 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Price: $143.78, tax & gratuity included

Counting down the days to the Festival?  Looking forward to international marketplaces featuring tasty tapas-sized dishes and refreshing beverages? Eager to try your hand at mixology?  Ready for some Culinary Demonstrations? Excited to enjoy an exhilarating outdoor concert?

With the 19th Annual Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival just around the corner, we would like to invite Tables in Wonderland members only to a “sneak preview” of this year’s Festival! Join us as we sample the food and hear speakers talk about the new and exciting things we have in store for you this year! Learn what new marketplaces will be added, as well as new special events. Be one of the first to be “in the know” as we taste our way around the world!

Please visit the following website www.disneyurl.com/SneakPreview for self-booking and instant confirmation.

The website will go live and begin taking reservations on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10:00am. 

When you go to the website please have the following information ready:

Tables in Wonderland Ticket Number (number beginning with a W and includes a date)

First and Last Name of everyone in your party (you may purchase up to 10 tickets)

Home address

Phone number

Credit Card Number

Billing Address of the Credit Card

Personal Email Address

Food Allergies (if any)

Seating Requests: Please add the Name/Registration Number of any guests on a separate booking you wish to be seated with.

Please Note: Request’s will be accommodated as available and are not a guarantee.

Things to note about this event: 

The event is limited to 250 Guests, and is exclusive to Tables in Wonderland members.  Park admission not required.

The menu for this event is inspired by the International Marketplaces:

Buffet Reception

Africa: South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms

Scotland:  Sea Scallop with Spinach Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon

Puerto Rico: “Papa Rellena” Crispy Fried Potato Balls stuffed with Pork and Beef

Terra: Blackened Chick’n Breast, Farr, Spicy Gumbo Sauce featuring Gardein Chick’n Breast

Hawai’i: Aulani Sunset featuring Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum

Terra: Paperboy Red

Block & Hans: The Great American Wine Company, Chardonnay

Block & Hans: Domaine Chandon, Brut Sparkling Blanc de Noir

Plated Dinner

Patagonia Course

Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimi Churri

Paired with Cono Sur Bicicleta Viognier

Farm Fresh Course

Griddled “Yard Bird” with Braised Greens and House Made Habanero Sauce

Paired with the Chateau St. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica® Riesling

Puerto Rico Course

“Carne Guisada con Arroz Blanco” Slow Braised Beef with Puerto Rican Grown Rice

Paired with Medalla Light

Dessert Trio

Hops and Barley: Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing

Refreshment Port: Croissant Doughnut

Bean to the Bar: Warm Drinking Chocolate

Paired with Rosa Regale

If you have any food allergies or dietary restrictions, which you have not already told us about, please send an email to WDW.Tables.In.Wonderland@disney.com to give us time to accommodate your needs.



Walt Disney Family Museum – The Golden – Disney Legacy

Three Little Pigs - Golden Books

Many of the most beloved Golden Books were illustrated by artists who had worked at The Walt Disney Studios, including Mary Blair, John Hench, Gustaf Tenggren, and Al Dempster. Their work would live on to influence a new generation of illustrators. Historian Charles Solomon and Golden Books/Random House editorial director Diane Muldrow discuss the art and artists of the golden era of Golden Books and their ongoing influence. Come view some of Mary Blair’s Golden Book illustrations as part of the current special exhibition, MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair.

To enjoy special pricing on this and future museum events, become a member today!

Our new program schedule through November has been announced! Check calendar for details. Tickets for July through September programs are on sale now.

The Golden-Disney Legacy
Sat, Jun 28 | 3–4:30pm
$18 members | $20 non members | $15 youth