Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, November 10, 2014
What’s New This Week?
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! A Frozen Holiday Wish’ Begins at Magic Kingdom Park Tonight: “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” the new holiday stage show that features Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf, will debut atMagic Kingdom Park tonight. The show culminates with Queen Elsa using her magical powers to gift everyone in the kingdom by turning Cinderella Castle into a glittering ice palace.
New! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins Friday, Nov. 7: It’s not just merry – it’s very merry! Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party begins Friday, Nov. 7 at Magic Kingdom Park and runs on select nights through Dec. 19, from 7 p.m. to midnight. Guests are invited to celebrate the season and enjoy a festive holiday parade and fireworks, complimentary cookies and cocoa, and a magical snowfall on Main Street, USA. Plus, Santa Claus is comin’ to town to greet Guests in Town Square Courtyard. This year, Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party gets an extra dose of holiday magic with “A Frozen Holiday Wish,” additions to “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade,” new character dance parties, and opportunities to visit with not only Santa Claus, but Santa Goofy too! And for the first time ever, Jack Skellington will be greeting guests as Sandy Claws!
New! Elsa Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card To Be Released At Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party: This year’s event-exclusive Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card will be “Elsa’s Icy Shield” and will let players harness some of Queen Elsa’s special “Frozen” powers. In case you haven’t played Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom yet, this interactive game allows you to join Merlin’s quest to defeat Disney Villains who are trying to take over Magic Kingdom Park. You use maps to find villain hideouts throughout the park, visit magic portals and use spell cards (like this one) to spoil a villain’s plan.
New! Jingle Cruise Returns Nov. 7: Returning this year, the iconic Jungle Cruise will temporarily transform into “Jingle Cruise” with festive decor in the attraction queue and boathouse, holiday names for the Jungle Cruise boats and a slew of seasonal jokes from the Skippers. This seasonal takeover of the attraction debuts Nov. 7 in Adventureland.
New! Experience new Morocco World Showcase Entertainment: At the Morocco pavilion, discover new entertainment from B’net Al Houwariyate, an internationally acclaimed ensemble from Marrakesh who sing, dance and play traditional instruments, as they perform a captivating repertoire. Through their music, Guests will experience Morocco in a “journey across musical styles”–from rural Berber chants, to popular Chaabi, or spirited Andalucian music, which gave rise to Flamenco. The group’s tradition of performance extends over several generations and has at its heart, elevating the voice, stories, and experiences of women in Morocco. B’net Al Houwariyate appears five days/week on stage in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot. Show times are 1:00, 2:30, 3:15, 4:45, 5:45, 6:30, 7:45.
Reminder! Candlelight Processional Returns to Epcot: Candlelight Processional is one of the most beloved holiday traditions Walt Disney World Resort, with the joyous retelling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and glorious mass choir. Among new celebrity narrators this year is Jonathan Groff, who voiced the rugged mountain man Kristoff in “Frozen.” Candlelight performances are at 5, 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. at America Gardens Theatre. (Show times on December 7 are 6:45 and 8:15 p.m. only). Guests may purchase Candlelight Dining Packages to reserve a seat at the Candlelight Processional. These packages, available on select nights, include a delicious meal, a guaranteed seat for one of the Candlelight Processional performances and a pre-arranged location for fireworks viewing. Guests may call 407.WDW DINE for reservations or at www.disneyworld.com. Availability is limited.
- 11/28 – 11/29: Jodi Benson
- 11/30 – 12/2: Neil Patrick Harris
- 12/3 – 12/4: Jonathan Groff NEW!
- 12/5 – 12/6: Whoopi Goldberg
- 12/7* – 12/9: LeVar Burton
- 12/10 – 12/11: Edward James Olmos
- 12/12 – 12/14: Joe Morton NEW!
- 12/15 – 12/17: Chita Rivera
- 12/18 – 12/20: Ana Gasteyer NEW!
- 12/21 – 12/23: Marlee Matlin
- 12/24 – 12/25: Isabella Rossellini
- 12/26 – 12/27: Blair Underwood
- 12/28 – 12/30: Steven Curtis Chapman
- Please note that narrators are subject to change without notice.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
New! Festive Fall Cupcake Available Starting Nov. 3: Beginning Nov. 3, Guests can enjoy a delicious harvest pumpkin cupcake at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For just $5.19 each, this festive fall cupcake will be available at the following quick service locations: FairFax Fare, Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, ABC Commissary, Studio Catering Co., Rosie’s All American Café, The cupcakes are included in Disney Dining Plan and available through Nov. 30.
Reminder! The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights Begins Friday, Nov. 7: The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights returns to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, running nightly
Friday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Jan. 4. Millions of twinkling lights will dazzle the Streets of America set to holiday music from dusk to park close.
Reminder! The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow Now Closed: The final day for this attraction was November 6, 2014. No replacement has been announced.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Reminder! Affection Section Closed for Refurbishment: The Affection Section petting area at Rafiki’s Planet Watch is closed for refurbishment through Nov. 10. Although Affection Section is closed, Guests may still experience the animal encounters in and around Conservation Station. Other offerings at Rafiki’s, including Gi-Tar Dan, Out of the Wild merchandise location and Chip & Dale character greetings are still available during this time. The Affection Section will reopen to Guests Nov. 11.
Reminder! Character Dining Times Extended at Tusker House: From Oct. 4 to Dec. 24, Tusker House will extend their character dining hours to 5 p.m. However, when park hours are until 7 p.m. or later, a dinner buffet without characters is offered from 6:15 p.m. to park close. During this time, the following character dining experiences will be offered: Breakfast: 8-10:55 a.m., Lunch: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., *Lunch extends to 5:30 p.m. if the park is open until 6 p.m.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Disney’s Contemporary Resort Holiday Decorations to be Frozen-themed: Pastry Chef Jeff Barnes, the master of all things sweet at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, is in the kitchen cooking up this year’s gingerbread extravaganza … well, at least we think he is. Take a look at this video – that’s Walt Disney Imagineer Joseph Konopka bringing something “Frozen” for Chef Jeff to work into his creative thinking. Joseph and Chef Jeff teamed up for the masterpiece that debuts November 13 in the fourth floor atrium of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Reminder! Disney Resort Holiday Decor Returns Soon: Shining bright with merry décor, gingerbread houses and more, the Walt Disney World Resort hotels are all glittery for the season. Guests will find a sugary showcase of holiday displays throughout the magical resort hotels. From enhancing visual feasts created from all kinds of sweets to refreshing stops offering tasty beverages and treats, each display has its own charming features.
Reminder! Disney’s Beach Club Resort Planned Refurbishment: Disney’s Beach Club Resort will be undergoing refurbishment through the next 20 months. Guest rooms will be refurbished with new hard and soft goods. The planned dates for this renovation are Oct 13, 2014 – Aug 22, 2015. The Stormalong Bay Pool – Waterslide and the waterway from the slide to the first bridge of Stormalong Bay will be unavailable Jan 5 – Feb 2, 2015. Stormalong Bay Pool – Lazy River bridges three and four will be under refurbishment and the lazy river/snorkel area will be closed Feb 2 – Mar 3, 2015. The remaining portions of the pool will remain available to Guests.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! The Disney PANDORA Jewelry Collection Launched Nov. 3: Beginning Nov. 3, the Disney jewelry collection by PANDORA, which includes 16 specific items to Disney Parks & Resorts, will be available at select merchandise locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort as well as on www.DisneyStore.com/Pandora. An additional 25 Disney-themed charm designs can also be found at PANDORA stores throughout North America, starting Oct. 31. A PANDORA jewelry showcase will be held on Nov. 7-8 in Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace, Walt Disney World Resort. Guests will also have an opportunity to meet Brenda Green, the stylist for PANDORA Americas. Brenda and her fellow PANDORA representatives will be helping guests create unforgettable Disney charm bracelets from 10:00 a.m.to 10:00 p.m. each day.
New! Memory Maker Now Available After Vacation: All Guests now have the opportunity to purchase Memory Maker after their visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. With automatic association of attraction photos and videos now live for all Guests wearing MagicBands, some Guests may not realize how many memories Disney PhotoPass Service has captured for them until after their visit. And, while photos can be purchased separately, videos only can be downloaded as part of a Memory Maker entitlement and cannot be purchased individually. This gives Guests an opportunity to purchase Memory Maker after their visit to receive unlimited downloads of their photos and videos. The price for Memory Maker post vacation is $199, the same as the onsite price.
New! Festival of the Seasons at Downtown Disney: Starting in November, Festival of the Seasons returns to Downtown Disney with joyous holiday entertainment and festive décor, as well as a meet and greet with the jolly man himself, Santa Claus.
New! Limited Edition MagicBands and Other New MVMCP Merchandise: Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will be featured on a unique retail MagicBand created especially for the event. Presented in a decorative gift box, the limited-edition graphic MagicBand will have an edition size of 5,000 and will retail for $29.95 (plus tax). Guests must present one of the following for the MagicBand to be linked to at the time of purchase: valid theme park admission, Memory Maker card or an active MagicBand. Finally, the Disney Pin Team is releasing a special jumbo-sized pin that features the world famous Disney characters joining Santa Claus in his sleigh. The pin will have an edition size of 500. Look for other limited release and limited edition pins at the event that are shaped like ornaments. Guests will also find Mickey and Minnie on some apparel items for both adults and kids.
New! Downtown Disney Parking Garage to Open Nov 20: The West Side Garage is nearing completion at Downtown Disney. This week, Cast Members have begun parking in the garage. It is expected that they will open additional levels of the garage to Guests on Nov. 20. As Downtown Disney undergoes the transformation into Disney Springs, parking access will continue to fluctuate and change to make way for future expansion.
New! LEGO Store Outdoor Play Area Refurbishment at Downtown Disney Nov. 5-8: The outdoor play area at The LEGO Store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace will close for refurbishment Nov. 5-8. During this time, Guests are welcome to visit LEGO’s indoor play area. The outdoor play area is expected to reopen Sunday, Nov. 9.
New! New Holiday Decor Coming to Downtown Disney: New decor is coming to the Marketplace this holiday season, so there’s even more to celebrate! The new look and feel is tied to the idea of a ‘uniquely handcrafted’ Christmas. Many of the elements use found objects such as yarn, spools, buttons, burlap and the like. Remember making felt stocking ornaments as a kid? Or creating reindeer keepsakes out of clothespins? These ornaments are similar, but on a much grander scale.
New! Disney Artist Showcase Coming to Art of Disney at Downtown Disney: On select weekends in November and December, Art of Disney will be hosting a Disney Artist Showcase at Downtown Disney Marketplace at Walt Disney World Resort. Events will be held on Fridays from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. These events will feature works from several talented Disney artists from Disney Design Group, Yellow Shoes Creative Group, Walt Disney Imagineering and others. Guests attending the showcase events will also have the opportunity meet these talented individuals and purchase original works of art. Below is a schedule of which artists will make appearances at the events. Please note that all appearances are subject to change without notice.
- November 14-15 – David Buckley, Joe Kaminski, Will Gay, Don “Ducky” Williams, Mark Seppala
- November 21-22 – Darren Wilson, Tim McCloskey, Joe Kaminski, Alex Maher
- December 5-6 – Brian Blackmore, Tim McCloskey, Jason Grandt, Costa Alavezos
Reminder! Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend Nov. 7-8: Runners will celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World Resort on Nov. 7-9. Participants in the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, which is sold out, will run a 13.1-mile nighttime race on Nov. 9 through Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The race weekend also will include Mickey’s Jingle Jungle 5K and runDisney Kids races on Nov. 8. To register for the runDisney kids races and to purchase the few remaining tickets for the Disney Wine & Dine Pre-Race Taste Party at Epcot, visit www.runDisney.com.
Have you taken part in this year’s 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival? There’s still time. Here are a few special guest appearances you won’t want to miss.
- Festival Center – William Silvers (Nov. 1)
- Art of Disney – Tim Rogerson (Nov. 7 – 9)
- Heritage Manor Gifts, American Adventure Pavilion – The Fabulous Beekman Boys (Nov. 8)
November 6 – 9: Beloved artist David E. Doss returns to Walt Disney World Resort this month. Look for appearances by David at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
November 7: “Drop” in to Tower Gift Shop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a special Game Night with Disney Design Group Artist, Quynh Kimball. From 4 – 6 p.m. you can challenge Quynh to a game of Jenga or Clue, both inspired by The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, as he tells you about how he designs these Disney Theme Park Exclusive games.
November 7 – 8: Excited for PANDORA? Be sure to watch for a special post from Steven Miller on a special jewelry showcase scheduled to take place at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace.
November 7 – 8: Join us as we welcome artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will appear for the very first time at Marketplace Co-Op in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Jasmine from from 5 – 7 p.m. each day.
November 7 – 9: Representatives from Precious Moments Dolls will be on hand at Once Upon A Toy in Downtown Disney Marketplace for the release of the Villains Collection inspired by Maleficent, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Not able to make it? No problem. Representatives will be on hand throughout the holiday season, beginning November 20.
November 10 – 13: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for special appearances and signings this month at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Meet Greg (November 10 – 13, 16 – 20, 26 – 28 and November 30 – December 4).
Closures and Refurbishments
Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.
Thanks for all the insider news I really want to come back to Mickey very merry Christmas the frozen addition will make my daughter happy Also tip if you just purchase the pass for the party you can arrive at the park early to get in and rides more rides day crowds will be there still ..research the time but I belive 3pm is earliest you can get in without a day pass to the park.
Hey Jamie! You can get into the Magic Kingdom at 4pm with the ticket! Thanks for the comment! -Jason
Jason is correct! You can get in as early as 4 pm on a party day. I always tell my clients to spend the morning at Downtown Disney or lounging pool side at their resort instead of using a park ticket on a party day! It is an easy way to save some money.