Disney Shows off Concept Art for ‘The NBA Experience’ and Announces Opening

As the 2017-18 NBA season tips off, we want to give you a first look at the new NBA Experience at Walt Disney World Resort coming to Disney Springs.

Inspired by the modern architecture of new NBA arenas around the country, the building design exudes the same spirit and energizing impact, while creating an unmistakable and entertaining connection to the NBA in a way that only Disney can.

It’s one of several ways Disney Springs is still growing and adding new experiences to delight and entertain our Guests.

“We are inspired by the design of the new building and the energy that it will bring to the West Side of Disney Springs,” said Senior Vice President of Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Maribeth Bisienere.

The state-of-the-art space will include interactive games and competitions, immersive experiences, a retail store and an adjacent restaurant.

NBA President, Global Partnerships Sal LaRocca, recently commented on the project, sharing, “This one-of-a-kind experience is sure to be enjoyed by basketball and Disney fans of all ages who visit Disney Springs from around the world.”

And, with the start of the NBA season, we also want to wish our hometown NBA team, the Orlando Magic, good luck. As part of Disney’s jersey sponsorship agreement, Guests who renew or purchase qualified Walt Disney World annual passes at the Amway Center this year will receive a new Orlando Magic jersey complete with the Disney logo, while promotional supplies last. Visit orlandomagic.com/annualpass for more information.

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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.

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

Walt Disney World Offers Special Character Experiences and Photo Opportunities During Disney PhotoPass Day

August 19 marks World Photo Day, and we’re excited to celebrate the occasion with the return of Disney PhotoPass Day at Walt Disney World Resort! During this event, Disney PhotoPass Servicewill offer a number of exclusive photo opportunities that will let you take home even more picture-perfect memories of your visit.

You can also celebrate Disney Princesses during Disney PhotoPass Day! In honor of Disney’s “Dream Big, Princess” campaign, you’ll find photo opportunities focused on some of your favorite Disney Princesses.

Check out all of the special opportunities that are planned in each of the four theme parks and Disney Springs on August 19:

Entertainment and photo opportunities are subject to change. Some locations could be affected by inclement weather.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Character Experiences:

  • Meeko joins Pocahontas at Character Landing on Discovery Island
  • Timon joins Rafiki at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Princess Atta joins Flik at Discovery Island near Creature Comforts

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop before the park entrance (daylight hours only)
  • Jungle Book Magic Shot near Yak & Yeti Restaurant
  • Visit the PhotoPass photographer in DinoLand U.S.A. from 9-10 p.m. to have magical Mickey light effects added to your photo (example below)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Character Experiences:

  • The Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil will meet with guests at Sunset Showcase. This opportunity will be available from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop outside the Theater of the Stars (daylight hours only)
  • Poison Apple Magic Shot on Sunset Boulevard
  • Fisheye lens in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard area

Epcot
Character Experiences:

  • Genie will join Princess Jasmine in the Morocco Pavilion
  • Mushu will join Mulan in the China Pavilion

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop near Epcot Character Spot (daylight hours only)
  • Baymax Animated Magic Shot with the PhotoPass photographer located near Mouse Gear and the Fountain of Nations
  • Fisheye lens near the fountain close to the entrance to Spaceship Earth

Magic Kingdom Park
Character Experiences:

  • Dopey joins Snow White at Town Square Courtyard
  • Captain Hook joins Peter Pan in Fantasyland

Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop in Fantasyland (daylight hours only)
  • Cinderella’s Coach in Fantasyland
  • “Tangled” light painting photo opportunity near Ariel’s Grotto (available after dark)
  • Mickey Mouse Magic Shot on the bridge near Fairytale Garden
  • Main Street Vehicle near the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (available in the morning and early afternoon)

Disney Springs
Photo opportunities:

  • Dream Big Princess photo backdrop next to the Marketplace Stage
  • Fairy Wings Magic Shot from the PhotoPass photographer roaming around the Marketplace near Tren-D (available from 1-10:30 p.m.)
  • You can also visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs to enjoy special $99.95 plus shipping pricing on a Personalized Storybook now through August 20!

Star Wars: Secrets of The Empire Hyper-Reality Experience Coming Disney Springs and Disneyland’s Downtown Disney

Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID today announced a new hyper-reality experience called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which promises to plunge fans into the Star Wars universe. Created by ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, in collaboration with THE VOID, it will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience, including interaction with friends, fans, and Star Wars characters.

“At THE VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at THE VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of THE VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.

“At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLAB. “Through our collaboration with THE VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

From StarWars.com

Three New Dining Concepts to Open by Year’s End, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill Along With Jaleo by José Andrés to open in Disney Springs West Side in 2018

Three new dining concepts are expected to open by year’s end at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort, with two more on tap for 2018.

This fall, Chicago-based Levy Restaurants is introducing a new Italian concept at Disney Springs, with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano leading development. The new restaurant replaces Levy’s Portobello Country Italian Trattoria and will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.

Also opening in late 2017 is Wine Bar George, with Master Sommelier George Miliotes bringing his expertise to Disney Springs with an unparalleled wine list including more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. Shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie will complement the wine list, featuring local artisans and seasonally relevant dishes. Look for some fun wine education, including special events and visits from winemakers. Miliotes is widely regarded as one of the industry’s foremost wine experts, and is one of only 236 professionals certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers.

And The Edison, a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime, is expected to open by year’s end. A collaboration of Patina Restaurant Group and Kinetescape’s Andrew Meieran, The Edison is noted for classic American food, craft cocktails and live entertainment including cabaret. (The Disney Springs location is inspired by its sister location in Los Angeles.) With Old World sophistication and romance, The Edison will be themed to a 1920s-era electric company, recalling an exuberant era of invention and imagination with entertainment that includes contortionists, aerialists, DJs and more.

Looking ahead to 2018:

Jaleo Coming to Disney Springs

  • Jaleo, a concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, will open on the West Side, bringing the spirit and flavors of Spain, with an extensive menu of tapas that reflect the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine. Think paella cooked over a wood fire, hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork. With five locations in the United States and Mexico City, this will be the first location in Florida. The first floor of the multi-level restaurant will feature a “grab-n-go” storefront with Spanish-style sandwiches.

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill Coming to Disney Springs

  • And a new Wolfgang Puck concept will open in a new location in Town Center. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, will modernize the traditional “bar and grill” concept in a setting inspired by traditional farmhouses with a touch of elegance. The restaurant will capture the essence of laid-back California dining made popular by Puck at Spago, his flagship restaurant in Los Angeles. The menu will highlight the best of Puck’s signature dishes with Mediterranean influences, innovative takes on comfort food classics and handcrafted specialty cocktails, beer and wine.

D23’s Magical Screening Series: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in Florida

GOLD MEMBER EVENT
Saturday May 13, 2017
AMC Disney Springs 24
$25 per person (plus $5 processing fee).
Click below to purchase tickets.

OVERVIEW
Celebrate 50 years of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction during a D23-exclusive presentation with Disney Legend Marty Sklar, followed by a screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) at AMC Disney Springs 24 at Walt Disney World Resort!

DETAILS
Experience begins at 10 a.m. at AMC Disney Springs 24. Check-in will begin at 9:15 a.m. Please do not arrive before 9:15 a.m.

Available to Gold and Gold Family Members
You will be required to show a photo ID. Members will be required to show their D23 Membership Card.

“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for D23!” As we await the May 26 release of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, D23 Members are invited to celebrate some of Disney’s most notorious rascals, scoundrels, villains, and knaves at the Walt Disney World Resort!

First, if ye come seekin’ the history of salty ol’ pirates, you come to the proper place! Join us as Disney Legend Marty Sklar, former vice chairman and principal creative executive of Walt Disney Imagineering, makes an appearance in Florida and charts our course for an adventure through 50 years of Pirates of the Caribbean. During this special presentation, Marty will tell fascinating tales from the making and evolution of the quintessential Disney attraction, which debuted at Disneyland park in 1967 and inspired the Pirates of the Caribbean live-action film series. Discover the secrets behind the attraction’s artistry and development with barrels full of artwork, photography, and other rare material no landlubber will want to miss!

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Attendees will then set sail and enjoy the Academy Award®-nominated Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) on the big screen! The swashbuckling feature follows the adventures of Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom), and Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), as they join forces against Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and his crew, who are cursed aboard the legendary Black Pearl.

This installment of D23’s Magical Screening Series will also include an exclusive gift, created just for you, that you won’t want to miss.

NOTE
D23 Gold Members may reserve a ticket for themselves and one (1) guest; D23 Gold Family Members may reserve tickets for themselves and up to three (3) guests. Due to the nature of the experience, all attendees must be 10 years of age or older to partake in this D23’s Magical Screening Series installment. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is rated PG-13 for action/adventure violence; parents are strongly cautioned. D23 Members will be required to provide their membership number when reserving tickets. Tickets may be picked up only with a valid photo ID AND D23 MEMBERSHIP CARD. D23 Members who do not bring their membership card may not be admitted to the event. Ticketed members who do not attend the event forfeit their place as well as all experiences, benefits, and gifts associated with the event. All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice. There are no cancellations or refunds, and tickets are not transferable. Video or audio recording of any kind will not be permitted during the presentation and screening. PLEASE BE ADVISED: Filming, photography, and other recording will take place at Walt Disney World during the event you will be attending. The Walt Disney Company will be taking photos and filming at AMC Disney Springs 24 located at 1500 Buena Vista Dr., Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830. By entering the premises, you irrevocably consent to and authorize The Walt Disney Company, its affiliates, successors, and assigns (collectively “Producer”), to photograph you, make sound recordings of you, and use such photographs and recordings throughout the world, for any purpose whatsoever in perpetuity, including, but not limited to, television broadcasts and home entertainment products, including, but not limited to, home video and DVD. All such photographs and sound recordings will be the sole property of Producer.

“Cars 3” Tour Plans Schedules a Pit Stop at Disney Springs

The third installment of the popular “Cars” film franchise is set to arrive in theatres on June 16th in 3D, but fans can get an early glimpse of the story, which stars longtime favorite Lightning McQueen alongside new characters Cruz Ramirez and Jackson Storm, when the “Road to the Races” nationwide tour kicks off March 23-26, 2017 at Disney Springs Marketplace.

Expect fun activities for the whole family, plus an extended “sneak peek” of the film when the tour rolls into town. While I’m personally most excited for photo opportunities with the three life-size character cars, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the event.

Alamo Rent A Car will sponsor a giant color mural; Coppertone will encourage guests to take part in a racer pit crew tire-changing activity and a fun photo opportunity; Crest and Oral-B will pass out prizes from the Piston Cup prize wheel (I hope I win a new toothbrush!) and will offer fans the chance to create a digital postcard with Lightning McQueen; at the Dole Refueling Station, you can sample high-octane smoothies; Mattel plans to present an interactive play area; and last, but not least, NASCAR will be on hand to share the history and science behind their iconic brand.

During your visit, keep an eye out for “Cars” merchandise and special menu items at select food and beverage locations, plus a DJ dance party with tracks that will make you want to rev up your engine.

Ready to race over to take part in the event? The tour, located at Disney Springs in the former Marketplace Bus Loop near Once Upon A Toy, opens to the public on Thursday, March 23 at 12:00 p.m. and will run until 7:00 p.m. that evening. On Friday, March 24, and Saturday, March 25, join the fun from 11 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. And on the final day, Sunday, March 26, guests can enjoy the experience from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Newest Kiehl’s Store Now Open at Disney Springs

Kiehl’s Since 1851, the venerable New York-based purveyor of fine quality skin and hair care preparations, opened its first retail store in Disney Springs on March 3rd. Kiehl’s is proud to add a sixth location in Florida to discover Kiehl’s efficacious skin, hair and body care products, personalized customer service, and 165-year-old heritage through the complete Kiehl’s experience.

“We are extremely excited to give central Floridian locals and Disney visitors a new opportunity to discover our heritage and history, our philanthropic mission, our sampling and service-oriented approach to retail, and of course, our full line of skin, hair and body care for women, men, children and even dogs,” said Chris Salgardo, Author and President, Kiehl’s USA. “Our customers in Florida have helped drive our company’s growth, supporting Kiehl’s both in stores and online. Demand for a new local retail store has grown, and we’re so excited to open another Kiehl’s to be part of Disney Springs, the world-class entertainment, shopping, and dining destination. Each element of our new store, from the design of the fixtures explaining our skin, hair and body formulations, to the historical photographs, mementos and Kiehl’s icons, helps tell the extensive story of this unique company that began as an old-world apothecary at the corner of 13th Street and Third Avenue in New York’s East Village.”

Kiehl’s at Disney Springs mirrors the unique ambiance found in the company’s original New York Flagship, which began as a neighborhood apothecary in 1851. The new store brings a modern New York apothecary to Florida, referencing the company’s original East Village roots and blending antique apothecary fixtures with modern flair.

Kiehl’s at Disney Springs continues the company’s commitment to superior customer service through its traditional practices:

  • Kiehl’s commitment to environmental responsibility and Recycle and Be Rewarded! Kiehl’s utilizes natural, sustainable materials and energy-efficient light fixtures – and encourages patrons to recycle Kiehl’s packaging with a specially designed recycling bin, promoted through Kiehl’s Recycle and Be Rewarded! The program offers customers the opportunity to return empty Kiehl’s jars, bottles and tubes to the store for recycling, in exchange for complimentary products.
  • Kiehl’s commitment to education through attentive service is accentuated through a dedicated personal consultation area. The enhanced space provides an opportunity for Kiehl’s Customer Representatives (KCRs) and patrons to converse privately about products best suited for the customer’s individual needs. KCRs also use tools such as Skin Barrier Testing Tabs and a revolutionary Dehydration Analyzer Tool to help diagnose the health and hydration level of a customer’s skin, and recommend the most appropriate products for him or her.
  • Simple, no-frills packaging allows Kiehl’s to formulate its products with high quantities of the most efficacious, natural ingredients available.
  • Kiehl’s Since 1851 Rewards, the company’s point-based loyalty program that honors and rewards customers with benefits including special invitations, offers, and early access to new products and formulations.
  • Generous sampling through Kiehl’s “try before you buy” program offers the complete Kiehl’s line of skin and hair care for men, women, children and babies with a generous offering of its traditional product samples. To assure its customers always find exactly what they need, Kiehl’s offers a 100% money back guarantee on all purchases, and guarantees that customers will see revitalized skin in 28 days or their money back.
  • Custom gifting 365 days a year allows customers to create personalized gifts year-round. A Kiehl’s Customer Representative will help the customer assemble a personalized, custom gift box, choosing items based on recipient, theme, ingredient or price, from any and all products in the store.

 The 1,681 sq. ft. retail space maintains Kiehl’s signature apothecary aesthetic and features: 

  • Personal consultation table – A designated table provides patrons a comfortable station for complimentary Healthy Skin Consultations by KCRs, which helps them determine the formulas best suited for their personal needs.
  • Men’s Destination – an unintimidating space for specialized grooming education and demonstrations designed for men. A KCR will be on hand to offer quick, straightforward service and recommendations on the Kiehl’s products that are most tailored to men’s needs. Specially designed accents such as military-style lockers and props bring this relaxing stop to life for Kiehl’s male patrons.
  • Carrara marble tables, counters and trim – provide a utilitarian, functional approach.
  • Natural, sustainable materials – such as tabletops made from paperstone, a waterproof material made from 100 % post-consumer recycled paper.
  • Energy-efficient compact fluorescent lighting – spotlights Kiehl’s products in an environmentally friendly way.
  • “Mr. Bones” – the teaching skeleton and Kiehl’s icon. Pharmacist and Kiehl’s founding family member Mr. Aaron Morse valued education for his employees and his customers. As he prescribed treatments for his customers, he would use a teaching skeleton nicknamed “Mr. Bones” to explain the uses of the suggested formulas.
  • Kiehl’s signature motorcycle – this icon of Kiehl’s heritage will be on permanent display, evocative of the passions and adventurous spirit of Kiehl’s founding family.
  • Vintage photographs and mementos take customers on an exciting journey through Kiehl’s rich history.
  • Botanical-inspired graphics – The walls feature custom graphic designs that highlight the botanicals used in Kiehl’s products and elements nodding to our 165-year history.

– See more at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2017/03/03/newest-kiehls-store-now-open-at-disney-springs/#sthash.k7FqLOJ5.dpuf

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil Will Host Its Final Disney Springs Performance This December

With over 8,500 performances to date, La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil has been a Disney Springsstaple for nearly twenty years. Since its inception in late 1998, the show has welcomed many new acts; the most recent additions include a duo of comedic clowns followed by a troupe of world-famous break dancers and a real-life couple skilled in the rarely-seen art of aerial bamboo. La Nouba has been seen by over 10 million guests and will continue to dazzle audiences with its breathtaking blend of daring acrobatics and dazzling choreography through 2017, with a final performance scheduled to take place on December 31, 2017.

With ten months to take in a show, you still have plenty of time to be mesmerized by the artistry of the talented La Nouba team. For additional details, including current offers, or to purchase tickets, click here or call 407-939-7600.

“We are incredibly proud of the success that La Nouba has had for nearly two decades,” said Jerry Nadal, Senior Vice President of the Resident Shows Division for Cirque du Soleil. “We want to thank Walt Disney World Resort for a wonderful relationship over the years. We look forward to announcing what’s next for Cirque du Soleil.”

Wondering what’s next? Given Disney’s strong relationship with Cirque du Soleil over the years, there may be news soon about exciting entertainment coming to Disney Springs, according to Disney.

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