Below are some of the slides that Jim McPhee, Senior VP of Operations at Walt Disney World used at the Orange County Task Force meeting on Wednesday.
Walt Disney World announced minutes ago that they will be opening in phases. Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom will open on July 11th, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studio will open on July 15th.
The phased reopening will come with limits. Disney indicated that guests will need park reservations each day to enter a theme park. There will be no fireworks or parades. There also will be limited to no character meet and greets.
I will update this later today if I see more detailed information or as soon as Disney provides more details.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios Vice President Phil Holmes announced that he will be retiring from the Walt Disney World Resort in August 2020 after almost 50 years with the company.
Holmes started his career in 1971 delivering blueprints to construction sites throughout the Magic Kingdom Park. He has handled a number of roles and locations as a Cast Member, including Attractions Host in Magic Kingdom Park and leadership roles in Bus Operations and Training and Development. A run of theme park openings followed, including EPCOT, Disney-MGM Studios and Euro Disneyland.
Serving most recently as a park vice president, Holmes was at the helm of opening and operating groundbreaking new experiences, starting with New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park and culminating with last year’s debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Walt Disney president Josh D’Amaro said this about Holmes –
“Phil has had a tremendous impact on Walt Disney World Resort during his nearly 50-year career. His legacy will be his outstanding leadership and passion for the guest and Cast experience. We’ll miss him, but we’re thrilled he will be with us through August, and we’ll be sure to celebrate his countless accomplishments before his departure.”
Holmes will be joining his wife Linda in retirement. They first met at Magic Kingdom Park. He looks forward to spending more time with family, especially their two granddaughters.
For some time we’ve known that Walt Disney World Resort is probably undergoing its most significant period of growth in quite some time. Today, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Bob Chapek made public some exciting updates on a few of the experiences currently in development across the resort.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be opening on March 4, 2020, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! On Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’ll step through the movie screen and join Mickey, Minnie and friends like never before – bursting into a world where mouse rules apply.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will begin “transporting” guests to a galaxy far, far away in 2021! In this new type of immersive vacation, guests will become the hero of their own adventure in an experience that surrounds you 24/7 in Star Wars storytelling.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open summer 2020 in the France pavilion at Epcot. Today Disney shared the image above showing Disney Imagineers at work creating the immersive attraction. The attraction brings guests on an adventure with Chef Remy through Gusteau’s restaurant.
Mickey Shorts Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios will show an original short film in the style of the popular Disney Channel animated series “Mickey Mouse,” and will feature photo-opportunity locations for guests. Today Disney shared a rendering that shows the interior of the theater, including fun Mickey Mouse-themed seats.
Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure is coming to Epcot! Guest are now invited to join Scrooge McDuck, Donald, Launchpad, Webby and the nephews in search of priceless treasure. Using the Play Disney Parks mobile app, guests will take a trip around World Showcase discovering exotic destinations, exciting mysteries, and maybe even a few thieves, villains and supernatural guardians of ancient artifacts.
Epcot will debut three new films on Jan. 17, 2020:
“Awesome Planet” in The Land pavilion showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity in a 10-minute film featuring spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning® composer Steven Price.
“Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in the France pavilion is directed and produced by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, and invites guests to participate in a twist on a tale as old as time. It also features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film. The new sing-along will run in rotation with “Impressions de France,” which will receive an upgrade to 4K projection.
“Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” in the Canada pavilion is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington and new narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
Space 220 Restaurant will be debuting this winter! Space 220 is a new table-service restaurant at Epcot that will be located next to Mission: SPACE. When guests enter the restaurant, they will step into a special space elevator that will take everyone 220 miles above the earth’s surface and offer incredible celestial views.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue will be the new fast-casual restaurant that’ll open this winter at The American Adventure in Epcot serving classic barbecue and home-style craft brews. Regal Eagle will celebrate American backyard barbecue with flavors from different regions around the United States. This is a restaurant that I’m really looking forward to eating at. This is a restaurant that many people have longed for for some time.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant will be coming to Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2020 and invites guests to a rootin’, tootin’ rodeo right in Andy’s backyard! This immersive restaurant will provide yet another unique, fun, family-friendly dining experience that could only be had in Toy Story Land.
A new era in Disney transportation is right around the corner!
Today Walt Disney World announced that on September 29th, the Disney Skyliner gondolas will officially begin transporting guests around Walt Disney World Resort.
In the Disney fan community, this date is possibly the most anticipated, just short of when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was opening. Now that I think about it, since SWGE opening was announced a few weeks ago, this probably was the currently most anticipated.
Disney Skyliner will connect Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot to four of its resort hotels: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and the new Disney’s Riviera Resort which is scheduled to open in December 2019.
The gondolas will feature graphics based on Disney films, attractions and characters. Disney has previously featured a few of the character cabins on the Disney Parks Blog, including those with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Chip & Dale.
Some of the other Disney themes featured will include:
- Goofy, Pete, Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow
- “Finding Dory”
- Haunted Mansion
- “Monsters, Inc.”
- Pirates of the Caribbean
May the Fourth be with you!
Honoring this special Star Wars Day, Walt Disney World gave us all some very interesting news.
Today Walt Disney World announced that guests of Disney Resort hotels and other select hotels will be able to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours benefit with Extra, Extra Magic Hours for a limited time at the theme parks!
Extra, Extra Magic Hours will include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom theme parks.
Here are the details:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios — Daily from September 1-November 2, the park will have Extra, Extra Magic Hours from 6-9 AM which will include Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, plus Toy Story Land and select other attractions through out the park. Access to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and its experiences will be subject to capacity.
Disney also announced that that on August 29-31, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 6 AM for all guests. There will not be Extra, Extra Magic Hours on those days.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Extra, Extra Magic Hours will happen daily August 29-November 2, from 7-8 AM, featuring Pandora – The World of Avatar and other attractions throughout the park. The attractions available will be the same as today’s morning Extra Magic Hours offerings.
- Magic Kingdom Park —Extra, Extra Magic Hours will happen daily from August 29-November 2, from 7-8 AM, the attractions available in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland will be the same as the current morning EMH offerings.
Extra Magic Hours will also continue to be available on select days at Epcot.
If guests are visiting this fall, they are reminded that the Extra, Extra Magic Hours benefit at the Walt Disney World Resort requires a valid theme park admission and hotel ID.
Earlier today Walt Disney World announced the opening date for “Wonderful World of Animation.” As part of the 30th anniversary of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Wonderful World of Animation will debut on May 1. The show, which was previously announced back in November, will feature state-of-the-art technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for Disney Nighttime Entertainment. I’ll stay for any of them because I am guaranteed to love them. I’m really looking forward to seeing this new show.
The nighttime show isn’t the only new thing coming to the park in 2019. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy is set to debut in the spring, while Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will arrive later in the year.
Along with all of the celebration of all that is Mickey Mouse and his 90th Birthday, there were a number of exciting announcements about the future of the Disney Parks in the United States
Disney Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products Chairman Bob Chapek earlier today revealed that the names of the two signature attractions set for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens in Disneyland next summer and at Walt Disney World in fall 2019 will be Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Guests can take the controls in one of three unique and critical roles aboard Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Here is the video that Chapek played at Destination D when he announced this attraction.
And on Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, guests will join an epic battle between the First Order and the Resistance, including a face-off with Kylo Ren.
And this footage of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was shot inside the actual attraction.
Of course when you think about Star Wars, the iconic music of legendary composer John Williams comes to mind. After announcing the new attractions Chapek also announced that Oscar-winning composer John Williams is creating new and original Star Wars themes exclusively for the land! The all-new music is being recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. Here is a preview of the music along with construction progress at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Chapek also announced that a new Beauty and the Beast sing-along attraction will be coming to Epcot’s France pavilion.
This attraction will be using the existing theater, and playing in addition to Impressions de France. The brand new attraction is being created by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action Beauty and the Beast films.
Also announced for Epcot was a new nighttime spectacular that is planned to open at the park in 2020. This new show will celebrate how Disney music inspires people around the world, and will feature massive floating set pieces, custom-built LED panels, choreographed moving fountains, lights, pyrotechnics and lasers.
Before this new show opens, there will be a limited-time experience, called “Epcot Forever,” which will debut in fall 2019 after Illuminations closes and will feature classic Epcot tunes.
The last announcement for Epcot was the name of the “Ratatouille” experience coming to the France pavilion, which will be called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
This attraction which is based on the popular attraction found at Disneyland Paris is still some way off from its Walt Disney World debut. Right now Disney is saying that it will have a Spring 2020 opening.
Chapek also announced that an all-new cinematic nighttime experience, “Wonderful World of Animation,” will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in May 2019, as part of the park’s 30th anniversary celebration.
The show will use state-of-the-art projection technology to take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey himself.
Also announced for Disneyland was Get Your Ears On — A Mickey and Minnie Celebration, which will feature new entertainment, food and merchandise. On January 18, “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will light up the night at Disneyland with all-new music, projections and lasers that set the scene for an epic dance party that takes over almost the entire park.
Chapek also shared that the beloved Mickey’s Soundsational Parade is set to return to Disneyland park in January 2019, with a new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.
The party will get even bigger when the fan-favorite Mickey’s Soundsational Parade returns to the resort in January 2019 featuring a new float with Mickey himself, who will lead the celebration down Main Street, U.S.A.
Also coming to the Magic Kingdom will be Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration. The celebration will run from January 18 to September 30, 2019. Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Celebration will feature new food, merchandise and entertainment, including a new dance party with Mickey, Minnie and their friends
During his presentation, Chapek unveiled details about Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. This will be a deluxe, nature-inspired resort that will feature more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas.
Not to be left out, Celebrate Your Favorite Mouse with Mickey & Minnie’s Surprise Party at Sea will be coming to Disney Cruise Line next summer.
It certainly sounds like a fun day of announcements. I only wish I could have been there to experience all of the excitement live in person.
If you’re excited for ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ and going to be in Walt Disney World or the Disneyland Resort soon, you’re in luck. Today Disney announced for a limited time you’ll be able to get a sneak peak of the movie beginning in November.
Guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will get to see this advance look at a portion of the film, starting Friday, November 2, as part of the Walt Disney Presents attraction.
At Disneyland, the preview of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” will be shown in 3D at the Tomorrowland Theater. This limited sneak peek experience will be presented by Mailchimp at Disneyland Resort, November 9 – December 9.
In the movie Ralph and Vanellope leave the comforts of Litwak’s arcade in an attempt to save her game. This quest takes Ralph and Vanellope to the vast world of the inter webs…a world Vanellope seems to wholeheartedly embrace, making Ralph worried that he may lose his best friend.
It doesn’t look like this sneak peak will be around for long, so if this interests you and you’ll be in the parks at the time, I encourage you to give it a visit.
Yesterday Walt Disney World announced that beginning October 16th that they will be launching a new vacation planning site to help guests purchase date-based tickets.
In the announcement Disney stated –
“With all there is to see and do in our parks, we know guests are increasingly looking for easier ways to plan a vacation with personalized options that fit their individual needs. Beginning October 16 on DisneyWorld.com, guests will be able to access our new online vacation-planning destination and purchase tickets priced by the date of visit. These changes are designed to simplify the booking experience, give guests an enhanced way to purchase theme park tickets and help them more easily plan the Disney vacation of their dreams”
While Disney has not stated this, presumably this is being done to make it easier for people trying to book and plan a vacation to Walt Disney World by streamlining the now disjointed process by guiding people through the process on a single website as opposed to navigating through the abundance of dropdown menus on Walt Disney World’s current site. The fact that there is no mention of the fact that date-based pricing that was announce a while ago and has been the pricing practice for the Disneyland Resort for a while now and that they seem to emphasize the planning process seems to verify this. Personally I’m skeptical that this process will be as “streamlined” as Disney professes. Disney has a history of making complicated processes even more complicated. That’s on top of their history of having technical issues and outages.
Here is the video that Disney is using to explain the new site.
What also was not mentioned in the announcement but has been found out is that as of October 16th Walt Disney World will begin pricing all four of it’s theme parks at the same price for single day tickets. This will eliminate the Magic Kingdom premium, and raising the price of the other three parks to match the ticket price for the Magic Kingdom.
Beginning in the summer of 2013, the Magic Kingdom carried a premium price, putting it at around $5 more than the other three theme parks. The new pricing will now put all four Walt Disney World theme parks between $109 and $129, depending on the season that they will be used.
Currently one-day tickets for Epcot, Studios and Animal Kingdom are between $102 and $122.
With the impending opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Walt Disney World in late fall 2019, the launch of the new planning site seems to make sense due to the anticipated increased bookings of vacations.
What seems odd about the same price for all parks beginning in October is that much of Disney’s Hollywood Studios is still under construction due to the new Star Wars land. While the price difference between parks doesn’t seem like a lot, the fact that the Studios is barely a full-day park, Disney is expecting guests to pay the same daily ticket price as the other parks. Maybe Disney is thinking that the Magic Kingdom Premium was too difficult for guests to figure out and this just makes things easier. If that’s the case, I don’t have as big of an issue with the change and after all we’re only talking about a few dollars a day. The premium really didn’t seem to change crowd distribution between the parks much anyway.
It will be interesting to see what if any affect this will have on bookings and guest satisfaction.