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Magic Kingdom Changes Security Procedures

Effective April 3rd, 2017, guests parking at Magic Kingdom will go through metal detectors and have their bags searched at the Transportation & Ticket Center. The security checkpoint will be required before guests can access the Monorail or Ferry Boat systems. Guests arriving by bus will still go through a security checkpoint in front of the Magic Kingdom. The only alteration we see for bus riders thus far is that security tents have been set up closer to the bus stops.

In addition to the changes above, the three Disney Resorts that have Monorail stops (Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort, and Grand Floridian) will have added security checkpoints before you can get on the Monorail to travel to the parks.

These measures not only protect travelers on the Monorail, but it alleviates some of the congestion guests feel while trying to enter the Magic Kingdom. The only unfortunate side effect of this new procedure will be that resort hopping will be a little more tedious and time consuming than it has been in the past.

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New Ordering System Planned for Pandora Park

A Fast Pass…for food?

Guests visiting the Satu’li Canteen will be able to order and pay remotely using the My Disney Experience mobile app.

Here’s how it’ll work:

Within the My Disney Experience app, guests will find a ‘Mobile One’ system which will serve as the ordering, payment, and notification system for meals. Guests will search the menu, choose their desired meals, and then pay using their linked Credit Card. When they arrive at the restaurant, guests can tap the “I’m here” button, which provides notification to the kitchen to prepare the ordered food. Please note that the Disney Dining Plan will not be compatible with ‘Mobile One’ — only Credit Cards. (The Dining Plan is accepted at Satu’li Canteen – you’ll just need to wait in the regular line to use it.)

Once the meals are ready, guests will receive notification that it’s time to pick up their food at a designated window, which allows these guests to skip the regular lines of those waiting to order.

The time frame for this system is unclear, but Disney has confirmed that they plan to spread the use of this mobile ordering system to more quick service restaurants at Disney World Parks.

 

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Update: World of Avatar Dining & Shopping

Dining at ‘Satu’li Canteen’ and ‘Pongu Pongu’

  • Satu’li Canteen
    • Healthful dishes include wholesome grains, hearty proteins, and fresh vegetables; perfect for vegetarian meals
    • Embellished with Na’vi art and cultural items
  • Pongu Pongu (translation: Party Party)
    • Out-of-this-world drinks including: a bio-luminescent frozen cocktails and indigenous beers

Shopping at ‘Windtraders’ and ‘Colors of Mo’ara’

  • Windtraders
    • A nature-inspired shop featuring many of the wonders of Pandora – The World of Avatar
    • Exotic merchandise and souvenirs celebrating the flora, fauna, and culture of Pandora
    • Walls will appear as natural root structures
    • Merchandise to include: Na’vi cultural artifacts, science kits, and ACE (Alpha Centauri Expeditions) apparel
  • Colors of Mo’ara
    • Stop by this valley for Na’vi-inspired face painting, including authentic Pandoran markings
    • Select merchandise will be sold here as well
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‘Beauty and the Beast’ to Introduce World to First Gay Disney Character

It’s what most Disney fans have been thinking of LeFou for all these years; he’s gay, and infatuated with Gaston.

Multiple news outlets have been reporting today, with seemingly shocked perspectives, that LeFou has an “exclusively gay moment” in the Beauty and the Beast live action film, which opens in theaters on 03/17/17.  Here’s what Director Bill Condon has to say:

“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston. He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh [Gad, the actor who plays LeFou] makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”

While this is a small step in a new direction for Disney films, it’s not surprising that this is the movie Disney chose to test these waters with; Beauty and the Beast’s plot is built around each character being an outcast in their own way.

We are thrilled that LeFou will be portraying his true self in the movie.

Watch a clip of Gaston and LeFou:

 

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Now Prohibited at Disneyland: Savings Seats for Electrical Parade

There’s been an operational update at Disneyland in reaction to the large crowds gathering for the recently returned Main Street Electrical Parade. According to the image below that was leaked from The Hub (the Cast Member exclusive portal), Guests will no longer be able to save seats before operations have come by and set up viewing areas. Guests will also be asked to not save seats for party members who aren’t present.

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This new operations policy should help keep walkways clear leading up to showings of the Electrical Parade, as guests will be able to freely move about Main Street. Considering that on the first few days of the parade returning, many people camped out beginning even at park opening, this will give first-time visitors to the park the ability to actually see the show.

Na'vi River Journey

A New Look Inside Pandora – The World of Avatar

During the Oscars last night, James Cameron gave us another sneak peak of what guests can expect from the new attraction “Avatar Flight of Passage”, which will allow guests to ride a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

The new land will also include the attraction we’ve had a preview of before, the family-friendly Na’vi River Journey, an experience that will send guests through a bio luminescent rain forest. The journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. Guests will also be able to dine at Satu’li Canteen, grab a drink at Pongu Pongu, and shop at Windtraders.

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Expansions for Coronado Springs and Caribbean Beach Resorts

Disney World has released plans to expand both CSR and CBR in 2017. The details-so-far are listed below for the resorts, respectively:

Coronado Springs Resort: 

  • New 15-story tower with 500 rooms, featuring suites and concierge level services.
  • New tower overlooking Lago Dorado, which will allow guests to experience rooftop dining with views of fireworks from Hollywood Studios.
  • Refurbishment of all existing rooms.
  • New floating gardens and an island oasis that connects the resort through a series of bridges.

Caribbean Beach Resort:

  • New waterfront dining and retail shopping areas at the Centertown marketplace.
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Disney Files Plans for Possible Gondola Lift

Disney has submitted plans to the State of Florida for a “mystery project”, which has the rumor mill churning. These plans were a submitted as a series of separate permits. Could we see a Gondola connecting Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and other areas?

Disney isn’t talking, but here’s what we’ve heard:

  1. The plans call for elevated buildings, including one with a “V-shape.”
  2. They are believed to be air-conditioned and cable-born.
  3. Most likely areas to be linked: Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Pop Century/Art of Animation.

Disney has tried this sort of thing before; remember the Skyway?

Star Wars Land

2019 Can’t Come Soon Enough for Disney Parks

We’re only two years away from Star Wars Land opening on both coasts, and fans are excited for the Parks’ fresh themes. On Tuesday, Disney announced a 5% year-over-year decline in attendance for it’s 4th quarter; a number which Star Wars Land is sure to invert, to say the least.

After Disney acquired Lucasfilm and began production on the theatrical releases of the new movies, it seemed inevitable that Star Wars would be incorporated in the Parks. While Disney announced plans for Star Wars Land back in 2015, the timeline for the projects wasn’t released until Tuesday, February 7th, 2017.

Continue reading “2019 Can’t Come Soon Enough for Disney Parks”

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‘Happily Ever After’ Nighttime Spectacular Coming to Magic Kingdom

Beginning May 12, 2017, Walt Disney World Resort guests will discover just how magical and emotional their fairy tale ending can be with the most breathtaking fireworks show in the history of the Magic Kingdom park – ‘Happily Ever After.’

The nighttime extravaganza will feature more lasers, projections, and lights than any other Magic Kingdom show before it. The show is being described as a story and journey filled with emotion, laughter, and heart. Guests will become part of the journey themselves as they follow their favorite Disney characters (more than 25 Disney movies will be featured!) on an adventure with adversity and fulfilled dreams on the road to their happily ever after. Don’t worry; Tinkerbell will still be flying across the sky in this show.

Be prepared with well-rested feet, as the show is 18 minutes long. We suggest using one of your Fast Passes on preferred seating for the show.