Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground along with Disney Saratoga Springs Treehouses Remain Closed

All Walt Disney World Resorts will resume normal operations today with the exception of Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas.

Fort Wilderness will remain closed until further notice while assessment of the damage to the property is completed.

In order to allow Fort Wilderness to prepare the property following Hurricane Irma, all shows at The Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ have been cancelled up to and including September 15th.  Any existing reservations will be or have been cancelled and refunded.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas will re-open on Thursday September 14th.

 

Advertisements

J.J. Abrams to Direct ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’

Disney and Lucasfilm are turning to a familiar face to take the helm of “Star Wars: Episode IX” following the exit of former director Colin Trevorrow.

J.J. Abrams, who helped reboot the franchise with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” has landed the directing job, Variety has learned. He will also co-write the film with Chris Terrio, according to a press release on StarWars.com.

“With The Force Awakens, J.J. delivered everything we could have possibly hoped for, and I am so excited that he is coming back to close out this trilogy,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said in the release.

Disney and Lucasfilm moved quickly to replace Phil Lord and Chris Miller with Ron Howard this summer while the film was still in production. The companies see Abrams as the perfect fit for “Episode IX,” given his proven track record in the “Star Wars” universe.

Trevorrow and Disney could not see eye-to-eye in regards to the script of the last installment in this latest “Star Wars” trilogy, sources say, and decided to part ways before getting further along in pre-production. The plan was to begin production by February 2018, but even if Abrams agreed to come back as director, meeting that start point still seems like a challenge.

Sources say producers already giving talent a heads up that there was a possibility of the shoot pushing two to three months and that once a director was announced the timeline would then be focused on.

While “Force Awakens” broke multiple box office records and “Rogue One” was hit at the box office, Lucasfilm and Disney have still had an issue with directors, dating back to when Tony Gilroy had to step in to shoot a significant amount of footage for “Rogue One” before its release. The studio has also fired Josh Trank from a standalone “Star Wars” pic and moved on from Lord and Miller, even though the film was far from done shooting.

Abrams and Rian Johnson, who helmed “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” had smooth shoots on their respective “Star Wars” productions. Sticking with someone who knows the story — and posed little trouble in production — would make sense. Abrams has also remained close to Kennedy since working on “The Force Awakens.”

Since directing “The Force Awakens,” Abrams has not committed to his next feature gig, mainly producing movies including the next untitled “Cloverfield” film that Julius Onah helmed.

From Variety

Disney Legend Francis Xavier “X” Atencio Passes Away at Age 98

Disney Legend Xavier “X” Atencio, a former Imagineer and Disney animator, passed away on September 10 at the age of 98. X was responsible for helping bring to life a number of beloved Disney parks attractions including Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, as well as such animated classics as Pinocchio and Fantasia.

Born on September 4, 1919, in Walsenburg, Colorado, X—whose friends shortened his name from Francis Xavier to simply “X”—moved to Los Angeles in 1937 to attend the Chouinard Art Institute. X thought a job at Disney was out of his reach, but the then-18-year-old artist’s instructors prodded him to submit his portfolio. In 1938, when he got the good news from Disney, X ran from the original Hyperion Avenue studio to his aunt’s house shouting, “I got a job at Disney! I got a job at Disney!”

X first saw his work on screen at the 1940 premiere of Pinocchio, and as he watched, he was incredibly moved by seeing the audience’s reaction. That year, he was promoted to assistant animator for Fantasia but left temporarily to join the Army Air Corps in the war effort.

Upon his return in 1945, he picked up where he left off, returning to the studio and working for the next eight years on animated short subjects. His first on-screen credit was for Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom in 1953, an Oscar®-winning film that took audiences through the history of music. Other films X contributed to during this time included Noahs Ark (1959) and A Symposium on Popular Songs (1962), both Academy Award® nominees, as well as Jack and Old Mac (1956). He worked on the “I’m No Fool” series for the original MickeyMouse Club, and in the 1960s, X provided memorable stop-motion sequences for Disney feature films TheParent Trap (1961), Babes in Toyland (1961), and Mary Poppins (1964).

At the request of Walt Disney, X transferred to WED Enterprises (later Walt Disney Imagineering) in 1965 to work on the Primeval World diorama for Disneyland. At first, X was unsure of the move to WED: “I went over there reluctantly because I didn’t know what I was getting into, and nobody there knew what I was supposed to do either,” he recalled. “About a month later I got a phone call from Walt. He told me ‘I want you to do the script for the Pirates of the Caribbean.’” From that point on, X cemented his legacy at WED, playing a key role in the development of music and dialogue for the attraction, including co-writing the iconic song, “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).” For the Haunted Mansion, he wrote the attraction’s dialogue and co-wrote the song “Grim Grinning Ghosts.” For Walt Disney World, he contributed to If You Had Wings and Space Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, as well as Spaceship Earth, World of Motion, and the Mexico pavilion at Epcot. Throughout his career, X always said that his reward, as it was in the days of Pinocchio, “is still the audience’s reactions.”

“X was an enormous talent who helped define so many of our best experiences around the world,” said Bob Weis, president of Walt Disney Imagineering. “Some may not know that when he wrote the lyrics for ‘Yo Ho’ he had never actually written a song before. He simply proposed the idea of a tune for Pirates of the Caribbean, and Walt told him to go and do it. That was how X worked—with an enthusiastic, collaborative attitude, along with a great sense of humor. His brilliant work continues to inspire Imagineers and bring joy to millions of guests every year.”

X retired from Disney in 1984, but continued working as a consultant to Walt Disney Imagineering for many years, and was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1996. He is survived by his wife, Maureen; his children Tori McCullough, Judianne, and Joe; his stepchildren Brian Sheedy, Kevin Sheedy, and Eileen Haubeil; sons-in-law Mike McCullough and Chris Haubeil; daughters-in-law Kathy Atencio, Trish Sheedy, and Beth Sheedy; and eight grandchildren.

From D23

Walt Disney World to Re-Open Theme Parks on Tuesday

At approximately 3:30 PM EDT today, the official website of Walt Disney World updated their park operating hours and revealed that they would be re-opening the parks on Tuesday, September 12th. However, not all of the parks are going to open back up on Tuesday.  This is due to some cast members who evacuated due to the storm and Disney being a little short-staffed.

Both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach will remain closed at least until Wednesday before reopening.

At this time the hours of operation for Walt Disney World tomorrow will be:

  • Magic Kingdom: 9 AM – 7 PM with Extra Magic Hours of 8 AM – 9 AM; Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will take place from 7 PM – Midnight
  • Epcot: 9 AM – 9 PM with Extra Magic Hours of 9 PM – 11 PM
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: 9 AM – 9 PM
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: 9 AM – 9 PM
  • Typhoon Lagoon: Closed
  • Blizzard Beach: Closed
  • Disney Springs: 10 AM – Midnight

New Halloween Fun, Thrills and Villainous Décor Cast a Spell at Disney California Adventure Park

For the first time, Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is also taking over Disney California Adventure Park, with areas such as Buena Vista Street and Cars Land getting all dressed up for holiday fun. The recently-opened Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction gets some additional thrills as it transforms into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark each night. Additional attractions will receive spooky fun updates, and there will be plenty of Halloween decorations, themed food and beverage, eerie merchandise and more. Combined with favorite Halloween traditions at Disneyland Park including Haunted Mansion Holiday, Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Pumpkin Festival on Main Street, U.S.A., Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort is now twice as much fun.

Halloween excitement begins as guests first enter Disney California Adventure. An oversized, shadowy silhouette of Oogie Boogie, the villainous boogeyman from “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” ominously leers over guests passing through the main entrance. In a spooky but fun moment, Oogie appears to unleash a swarm of bats which sound as if they fly down Buena Vista Street towards Hollywood Land, Cars Land and beyond. Guests will even see the bats circling the tower of the Carthay Circle Theatre.

Cars Land Haul-O-Ween

Everyone’s favorite Cars characters have transformed Radiator Springs into their own Haul-O-Ween celebration. Scary the “Scare-car” greets guests at the entrance of Route 66 for a special photo opportunity. Each of the Cars has decorated its establishment for the season. With Fillmore showing off his Jack-Oil-Lanterns and ghostly folk art, Sarge displaying his “pump-kins,” and a Spider-Car spinning webs all over the outside of Flo’s V8 Café, the town of Radiator Springs will indeed be transformed into Radiator Screams!

Two of the attractions also have been transformed for Halloween for the first time. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree becomes Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree. Expect to hear some creepy, new songs and fun haunted twists on other hits, including “Monster Truck Smash” and “Welcome to Radiator Screams” as guests whirl around the graveyard. Additionally, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters becomes Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween, an all-new spooktacular dance celebration where Luigi and Guido entertain the cugini (cousins) with Halloween twists to traditional Italian festival songs like the “Terror-antella,” “The Chop Top of Carsoli” and more. It’s hair-raising fun … for a limited time!

Also, for the first time, the Cars characters will be donning their Halloween “car-stumes” as they greet guests and prepare to go “trunk-or-treating.” Mater will be wearing his vampire or “van-pire” outfit, while Lightning McQueen is dressed as a super hero. Cruz Ramirez, Red the Fire Truck and DJ get dressed up as a pirate, a clown and a punk rocker, respectively.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark

Fans were thrilled when Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! opened in May at Disney California Adventure Park, and now they’re in for a scary Halloween treat as the attraction is transformed nightly into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark. During the day, guests continue to experience the excitement, fun and six different ride experiences on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! However, each evening the attraction transforms from Mission: BREAKOUT! to Monsters After Dark. The Collector’s Fortress goes dark, alarms sound and all-new lighting on the exterior of the Fortress alerts guests that something inside has gone awry.

As guests enter the Lobby of the Fortress, they will be startled by flashing alarms and creepy sounds – warning signs that creatures have escaped their vitrines (glass cages) and all kinds of chaos is erupting. The Collector’s ever-resourceful assistant, Apheta, tries to keep calm by reassuring guests that all is in order, and this is just a momentary setback.

In keeping with the dark humor of the experience, an all-new 1970s-style punk rock song, “Monsters After Dark,” enhances the thrill of the experience. The song was written especially for this attraction by Tyler Bates, composer for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

Buena Vista Street Halloween Décor

Along Buena Vista Street, guests will enjoy Halloween decorations in store windows and in Carthay Circle, they’ll see a new 10-foot-tall statue of the Headless Horseman himself, holding up his jack-o’-lantern head to the sky. New, themed background music further creates the appropriately eerie, but still fun, mood.

Mickey and his friends also will be in the area, donning their period-appropriate Halloween costumes, such as a bat for Mickey Mouse, a ghost for Goofy and a witch for Daisy Duck – all in playful fun, of course.

Frighteningly Refreshing Food and Beverages

Throughout the park, Halloween-themed food and beverage offerings will include:

  • Bat Wing Raspberry Sundae (Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream) – white chocolate-raspberry swirl ice cream with raspberry splatter, blood-red sprinkles, whipped cream and bat wing cookie;
  • Spider Silk Ice Cream Sandwich (Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream) – a black macaron with charcoal-tart cherry spun ice cream topped with popping candy and drops of raspberry sauce;
  • Sleepy Hollow Cupcake (Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe) – red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting, raspberry drizzle and Headless Horseman chocolate decoration;
  • Green Apple Spell Lemonade (Smokejumpers Grill) – lemonade, green apple syrup and cherry drops;
  • Monstermallow Donut (Schmoozies) – flaky, croissant donut in the shape of Mike Wazowski from “Monster, Inc.,” filled with marshmallow cream;
  • “Ghost”-ly Pepper Nachos (Cove Bar) – ghost pepper-marinated flank steak with green tortilla chips, topped with ghost pepper cheese sauce, black beans and avocado-tomatillo salsa;
  • Pumpkin Raisin Bread Pudding and Anchor Blood Orange Blondie (Pacific Wharf Café);
  • Slow Burnin’ Mac & Cheese Cone (Cozy Cone Motel) – fresh-cooked pasta with spicy red pepper cheese sauce, served in a Black Cauldron Cone and topped with crushed chile-cheese puffs;
  • Car-achnid Pot Pie (Flo’s V8 Café) – chicken pot pie with dried cranberries and butter-crust spider; and
  • Purple, green and orange-colored Churros, Mickey Bat Cookies and Candy Corn Cotton Candy (locations throughout the park).

Mickey’s Halloween Party Mix-In

Disney California Adventure also will be featured for the first time as part of the pre-party mix-in for Mickey’s Halloween Party, a separate-ticket event that features special entertainment, Disney characters in their Halloween attire, and trick or treating at locations throughout Disneyland. This year, a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party has even greater value as guests will be able to visit Disney California Adventure as well as Disneyland during the three hours prior to the beginning of the party in Disneyland Park.

Tickets for Mickey’s Halloween Party may be purchased online and on mobile devices at Disneyland.com/party as well as at the Disneyland Resort main gate and by phone at 714-781-4400.

Holidays at the Disneyland Resort Returns with Popular Festival of Holidays and ‘World of Color – Season of Light

The Happiest Place on Earth gets merrier once again when Holidays at the Disneyland Resort returns Nov. 10, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018. This festive season includes the return of favorite holiday experiences, including Festival of Holidays, “World of Color – Season of Light,” and the “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular.

Guests plan their seasonal visits year after year to experience beloved Holiday traditions, from snowfall on Main Street U.S.A., to glistening décor, Disney-themed treats, holiday entertainment and the one-of-a-kind transformations that create “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday.

At Disney California Adventure

  • The nighttime spectacular, “World of Color – Season of Light” celebrates the warm and heartfelt spirit of the holidays as it illuminates Paradise Bay with a sparkling winter fantasy combining classic holiday songs with memorable moments from treasured Disney animated films.
  • Festival of Holidays” brings the spirit of the season to life through delicious food and special entertainment, including the popular “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” A new twist to this celebration presents the popular Festive Foods Marketplace with a mix of holiday comfort dishes that bridge many diverse cultures and family traditions.
  • Santa Claus, with a sleigh full of mischievous elves, appears at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, where guests of all ages will join the festive fun with a series of holiday-themed activities along the trail.
  • For the residents of Cars Land, holiday decorating begins with the whimsical “Snowcar” that greets guests on the road to Radiator Springs. Each address along Route 66 – Flo’s V-8 Café, Fillmore’s, Cozy Cone Motel, Luigi’s Casa della Tires and more – also gets a holiday makeover that reflects the personality of its “Cars” character resident.
  • “a bug’s land” transforms for the holidays, too, as Flik and his bug friends deck their land with oversized lights and ornaments.
  • A dazzling, 50-foot Christmas tree adorns Carthay Circle along Buena Vista Street. The tree and surrounding buildings, inspired by Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney arrived in the 1920s, are decorated with vintage-style ornaments.

At Disneyland

  • FestSleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle returns with magical nighttime snowfall moments that conclude with “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks and its stirring snowfall finale.
  • Guests will be enchanted by the soaring Christmas tree in Town Square, Main Street, U.S.A. It’s 60 feet tall and filled with nearly 1,800 ornaments. This festive backdrop is a popular location for holiday photos.
  • Disney characters celebrate the season in “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a daily procession with floats, music, marching “tin soldiers” and holiday cheer. Santa, who makes a jolly appearance in the parade, also will be found welcoming guests at his special location in Critter Country.
  • Disneyland guests definitely will want to experience the popular seasonal transformations of these park attractions:
    • “it’s a small world” becomes “it’s a small world” Holiday with children around the world enjoying the distinctive holiday traditions of their countries.
    • Haunted Mansion becomes Haunted Mansion Holiday,* with Jack Skellington and his friends from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” causing a collision between Christmas and Halloween.

The Downtown Disney shopping, dining and entertainment district and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort join in the holiday festivities with twinkling lights and ornaments, holiday displays, special entertainment and holiday dining with themed menus.

*Haunted Mansion Holiday is inspired by “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.”

Disney Cruise Line Advisory and Adjustments due to Hurricane Irma

Based on the projected path of Hurricane Irma, Disney Cruise Line is making the following adjustments to itineraries:

Disney Fantasy

The September 9 sailing of the Disney Fantasy is cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for the cruise booking. Guests are invited to book a future cruise at a 25 percent discount by calling us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

Disney Dream

The September 11 sailing of the Disney Dream is cancelled. Refunds will automatically be processed back to the original form of payment used for the cruise booking.  Guests are invited to book a future cruise at a 25 percent discount by calling us at 1-855-347-2784 or 407-566-7054 from September 18, 2017, through October 18, 2017.

Future Bahamian and Eastern Caribbean Sailings

At this time, there are no changes to other sailings on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. However, we continue to closely monitor Hurricane Irma and assess its impact on the ports of call we visit in the Caribbean and Bahamas. Updates regarding any necessary itinerary changes will be posted beginning September 12.

Hurricane Irma Update for Walt Disney World


Ahead of Hurricane Irma, Walt Disney World will begin closing its theme parks starting on Saturday September 9th. At this time the plan is to reopen the parks on Tuesday September 12.

Here are the times and adjustments being made to park operations:

  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Closing on Saturday at 7pm – Monday
    The Saturday Rivers of Light performance is canceled.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Closing on Saturday at 7pm – Monday
    The Saturday Fantasmic! and Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular performances are canceled.
  • Epcot: Closing on Saturday at 9pm – Monday
    The Saturday  IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth performance is canceled.
  • Magic Kingdom: Closing on Saturday at 9pm – Monday
    The Saturday Happily Ever After fireworks performance is canceled.
  • Disney Springs: Closing on Saturday at 9pm – Monday
  • Disney’s Blizzard Beach: Closed as of Friday – Monday
  • Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon: Closing Saturday 5pm – Monday
  • ESPN Wide World of Sports: Closed on Saturday – Monday
  • The Walt Disney World Monorail System, Ferry Boats, and Buses: are set to cease operation on Saturday evening following the closure of the parks at 9pm.
  • Speedway gas stations: will close on Sunday and will remain closed on Monday.
  • The Best Friends Pet Care: will stop accepting new arrivals at 10pm on Saturday, and will remain closed until further notice. Animals at the facility will continue to be cared for throughout the storm.

 

Disney Announces Cancellations and Closures Due to Hurricane Irma

Due to the impending arrival of what appears to be a very severe storm, Disney has announced some closures and cancellations due to Hurricane Irma…

Night of Joy

Disney has canceled the Night of Joy event for Saturday September 9th.

Friday night’s show at ESPN Wide World of Sport will continue as planned.

Disney has stated that guests with tickets for Saturday can attend Friday’s event instead by exchanging their ticket at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Box Office starting at 4 PM Friday.

Refunds can be processed by calling (407) 939-7818 by January 31, 2018 or email at Ticket.Inquiries@DisneyWorld.com.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party has been cancelled for this weekend.

The ticketed event that was planned for Sunday September 10th will no longer take place. Tonights party, September 7, will go ahead as scheduled.

Disney is offering a variety of options for guests who hold tickets.

  • Tickets to attend another Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party.
  • Tickets to attend an upcoming Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
  • 1 Day Magic Your Way Tickets with Park Hopper Option, to be used within the next two years.
  • Receive a full refund for event tickets.

You can call (407) 939-7818 or email Ticket.Inquiries@DisneyWorld.com to process an exchange.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

Disney will be closing its Vero Beach Resort on the east coast of Florida.

The closure will begin at 2pm on Friday September 8th.

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground will begin closing on Saturday afternoon, September 9th.

In addition, Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ will be canceled on September 9th, 10th and 11th.