Disney News Roundup: January 2019

By: Amy Kawa

Here’s a rundown of the latest and greatest Walt Disney news to hit the Internet in January of 2019.

H2O Glow Nights Return to Typhoon Lagoon in 2019

  • These evening beach parties at Typhoon Lagoon happen Thursdays and Saturdays from May 30th through August 17th, transforming the water park into a new nighttime experience through special music, lighting and food. Come party with friends from Disney-Pixar’s Toy Story films during the 30th anniversary summer of Typhoon Lagoon!

Free Dining Returns to Walt Disney World This Summer

  • Walt Disney World guests booking vacations between July 5th through September 30th, 2019 are eligible for the offer when purchasing a non-discounted 5-night/6-day vacation package that includes a room at a select Walt Disney World Resort Hotel and tickets with a Park Hopper or Park Hopper Plus Option.  This offer is available for booking through February 10th.  All Deluxe Villas and Resorts are eligible for the entire Disney Dining Plan, whereas those guests staying at select Moderate or Value Resorts are eligible for the Quick Service Dining Plan.

Take a Look Inside Galaxy’s Edge

  • Barron’s gave us an inside look at what may be in store for some of the restaurants, shops, and the overall atmosphere of Star Wars Land coming this summer to Disneyland.  Read the full article here.

Kevin from Disney-Pixar’s Up to Start Appearing Animal Kingdom

  • Everyone’s favorite bird from Up is now roaming her way around Discovery Island, right near where Kevin and Carl Fredrickson currently meet.

Third Parking Structure Opens at Disney Springs

  • To accommodate the ever-increasing number of guests coming to Disney Springs, another parking garage has opened to the public – the Grapefruit Garage.  This parking structure has access to Disney Springs via a pedestrian bridge.

New Credit Card Policy Takes Effect for Disney Resort Guests

  • Disney Resort Hotels will place incremental authorization holds on the payment card for estimated incidental expenses, in addition to any balance due on the reservation.
  • On the day of arrival, resort hotels will place an authorization hold on the card for any balance due plus $100 to cover estimated incidental expenses. If guest spending exceeds the original $100 hold, additional incremental holds will be obtained automatically. The holds placed on the card will never exceed the current balance due plus $100.
  • This new policy is designed to ensure that the often-significant charge at check-out is not rejected by the card issuer as a potential fraudulent charge or for being over the cardholder’s credit limit.

Dates Announced and Tickets Already on Sale for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

  • Earlier than ever before, Disney has already announced the dates and ticket pricing for 2019’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party – and tickets are already on sale.
  • The dates are:
    • August 16, 20, 23, 27, 30
    • September 2, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, 29
    • October 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 29, 31
    • November 1
  • Tickets range in price from $79 to $135 depending on the date chosen, and discounts are available for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members

The Hunchback of Notre Dame Live-Action Adaptation in Development

  • With Tony-winning M. Butterfly playwright David Henry Hwang writing the script and Disney legend Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz (Wicked) writing the music, Josh Gad is also said to be involved in some capacity.

Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration Meet and Greet 

  • Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration is in full swing at Magic Kingdom.  One of the most notable elements of this celebration is the Mickey and Minnie meet and greet that has taken over the Town Square Theater.  Check out their festive outfits:
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  • Pluto has now taken over for Minnie at Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus.

Summer Details Announced for the Disney Parks

  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live! will return to Epcot starting June 14th.  Star-Lord and Gamora from the Guardians of the Galaxy films will take you on a musical journey through the cosmos, showcasing hits from Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mix” tapes. The show runs daily through August 18th.
  • At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a new edition of Tree of Life Awakenings will celebrate The Lion King, in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary.  Starting Memorial Day weekend and appearing nightly through September 30th, stunning projections on the iconic tree will feature music and animation paying tribute to the classic film.

An Incredible Celebration Debuts at Hollywood Studios

  • The former Pixar Place area of the park has been transformed into a block of Municiberg. Check out all of the things you can now do there:
    • The Edna Mode Experience – Browse through Edna’s collection of suits and awards, and then get to meet the elusive designer herself!
    • Where’s Jack-Jack? – This is a scavenger hunt for Supers! Try finding Jack-Jack by following a trail of evidence only a super-powerful baby could’ve left behind. (Not yet fully operational.)
    • The Super Shindig – Get ready to dance the baby shark alongside Frozone, Mr. Incredible, and Elastigirl in this Municiberg dance party!
    • New foods – Jack-Jack Cookie Num Nums, Hero Sandwich, Mrs. Incredible’s Mask with Cheese, and Frozone-Themed slushes

“Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party” Debuts at Animal Kingdom

  • This dance party encourages guests to let their inner animal roam free on the dance floor. The party takes place across from Flame Tree Barbecue daily from 11:30am-5:30pm.  You might run into some “characters” on the dance floor too, including Rafiki, Terk, Baloo, and King Louie.

Mike and Sulley Meet and Greet Returns

  • After quite the hiatus, the monsters of Monstropolis have returned to Hollywood Studios! Mike and Sulley now greet guests inside Walt Disney Presents (the former Star-Lord and Groot location).  Be sure to check the park’s Times Guide for exact meet and greet times.

Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy to Open March 31, 2019

  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will debut at Hollywood Studios March 31st.  We now have some more details thanks to Jay Ward, Creative Director of the Disney•Pixar Cars franchise. In the Academy, you’ll take on the role of rookie racer. As you cruise into the theater, you’ll find yourself face-to-face with Lightning McQueen, appearing live on stage. McQueen and the entire audience will be surrounded by a giant, wraparound screen that’s nearly two stories tall and stretches more than 200 feet from end to end, pulling everyone into the action!

Long-Lost Friends Meet and Greets at Magic Kingdom

  • As part of Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration, random pairs of Disney characters have been meeting weekly in Town Square in Magic Kingdom.  Seven pairs of characters rotate each day of the week, with the same pair meeting on the same day of the week (i.e. Remy and Emile meet every Wednesday and Chicken Little and Abby Mallard meet every Sunday – days are subject to change.).
    • The pairs you can meet are:
      • Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps, Zootopia
      • Phineas and Ferb
      • Chicken Little and Abby Mallard, Chicken Little
      • Robin Hood and Little John, Robin Hood
      • Gideon and Foulfellow, Pinocchio
      • Remy and Emile, Ratatouille
      • Prince John and Friar Tuck, Robin Hood

Maleficent Dragon Float Returns to Festival of Fantasy Parade

  • After literally catching fire in May, the Maleficent steampunk float has returned to the afternoon parade route in the Magic Kingdom with some new safety modifications to prevent another incident.
  • Maleficent-Return-1-1200x900.jpg

Reusable Bags Now Available at Theme Parks and Resorts

  • As plastic everything continues to get phased out of Disney Parks, the four theme parks, Disney Springs, and the resorts are all selling reusable park-specific bags.  Different sizes are different prices: small bags are $1, medium bags are $1.50 and large bags are $2.  In typical Disney fashion, even the shopping bags are cool, and the designs for each park are wonderful nods to the themes and attractions that make each park so magical.
  • WDW-resort-reusable-bags-5-1200x900

More Flower and Garden Festival Details Revealed

  • This year’s festival will be chock-full of lush new topiary whimsy, edible delights, gardens to play in and an expanded lineup for the Garden Rocks Concert Series. The 90-day event continues through June 3rd, featuring dozens of Disney-crafted topiaries and beds of multi-colored blooms that will transform the Epcot landscape into a floral extravaganza. Here is a look at some of the discoveries guests will make this year:
    • The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series will expand to every day of the festival, featuring chart-topping artists performing three shows daily on the America Gardens Theatre (5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.)
      • March 6-8: Journey former lead vocalist STEVE AUGERI (NEW) “Don’t Stop Believin’ ”
      • March 9-10: Glass Tiger (New to Garden Rocks) “Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)”
      • March 11-12: Jon Anderson of YES (NEW) “Owner of A Lonely Heart”
      • March 13-14: Tony Orlando “Knock Three Times”
      • March 17-20: Simple Plan “Perfect”
      • March 21-22: Ambrosia (NEW) “Biggest Part of Me”
      • March 23-24: Magic Giant (NEW) “Set on Fire”
      • March 25-27: Air Supply (New to Garden Rocks) “All Out of Love”
      • March 28-29: Berlin featuring Terri Nunn “Take My Breath Away”
      • March 30-31: The Smithereens (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Top of the Pops”
      • April 1-2: Rick Springfield “Jessie’s Girl”
      • April 3-4: Christopher Cross (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Sailing”
      • April 5-7: The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
      • April 8-9: Dennis DeYoung, original member of the group STYX “Come Sail Away”
      • April 10-11: John Michael Montgomery (NEW) “I Love the Way You Love Me”
      • April 12-13: Sister Sledge (NEW to Garden Rocks) “We Are Family”
      • April 14-16: Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
      • April 17-19: Sister Hazel (NEW to Garden Rocks) “All For You”
      • April 20-21: Steven Curtis Chapman (NEW) “Cinderella”
      • April 22-23: TobyMac (NEW) “The Elements”
      • April 24-26: Lonestar “Amazed”
      • April 27-30: The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
      • May 1-4: Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry VIII I Am”
      • May 5-7: Don Felder, Formerly of the Eagles “Hotel California”
      • May 8-9: A Flock of Seagulls (NEW) “I Ran (So Far Away)”
      • May 10-11: Marshall Tucker Band (NEW to Garden Rocks) “Heard It in a Love Song”
      • May 14-15: Richard Marx (New to Garden Rocks) “Right Here Waiting”
      • May 16- 19: STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
      • May 20-21: Colin Hay of Men at Work (NEW) “Who Can It Be Now?”
      • May 22-23: War (NEW) “Why Can’t We Be Friends”
      • May 24-27: The Guess Who “American Woman”
      • May 28-29: Jon Secada “Just Another Day”
      • May 30- June 1: Blood, Sweat and Tears “Spinning Wheel”
    • Creative new culinary dishes and several new outdoor kitchens will debut this year. AdventHealth will host a kitchen along with a nearby playground where the whole family can learn fun and interactive ways to stay healthy.
    • Woody and Buzz Lightyear will welcome Bo Peep and her sheep to their Toy Story topiary near the Family Play Zone in Future World East.
    • Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration family scavenger hunt will be more fun than ever this year with new locations to discover along the garden pollination trail. Guests can also commemorate their scavenger hunt experience with select merchandise offerings featuring everyone’s favorite bee, Spike. Another guest favorite returning to the festival April 5-21 (while supplies last) is the Eggstravaganza Scavenger Hunt, where guests can search for Disney character-themed eggs around World Showcase.
    • In celebration of Disneynature’s “Penguins,” opening April 17, a 9-foot-tall art sculpture made from recycled marine debris will be on display in Future World featuring an adult and baby Adélie penguin. Created by the non-profit organization WashedAshore.org, this work of art is designed to inspire Guests to keep our oceans and waterways clear of plastic pollution.
    • Among the returning gardens and exhibits, guests will once again enjoy the Goodness Garden Butterfly House presented by GoGo squeeZ where nearly 1,000 native butterflies will fly among the garden’s two dozen nectar plants. Additionally, several World Showcase pavilions will include gardens with floral life representative of plants in those countries, such as the Kokodema Garden and Bonsai Collection in Japan, the Urban Spice Garden in Morocco and the Alpine Container Garden in Germany.
    • The Royal Tea Garden Tour, presented by Twinings takes place each festival morning at the United Kingdom. For a small fee, guests can follow a knowledgeable guide through the tranquil tea garden setting to learn the history and artistry behind growing and blending tea. A post-tour treat of tea and scones is included. The shorter, complimentary English Tea Garden Tour also will be offered on select days.
    • During the Gardens of the World tour, guests will join a Disney horticulturist for a three-hour walking tour to explore the award-winning topiaries and gardens that make the festival so special. Guests will learn about the unique role landscaping plays at Walt Disney World and discover new plant materials and gardening techniques to use for home gardens.



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