The 10 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (And Beyond) This Week (October 24-30, 2016)

Originally reported by Theme Park Tourist…

This week at Walt Disney World, the biggest news was definitely the sudden cancellation of the Magic Kingdom’s Celebrate the Magic show and the subsequent confirmation of its replacement, which is set to debut in just a few days. Aside from this big announcement, this week it was also revealed that a Disney Springs eatery will be moving to seasonal operation in the near future, Epcot will be getting a tasty new addition for the holidays, plus the newest restaurant at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is set to welcome its first diners in less than a month!

Outside Walt Disney World, things have been a bit less busy, with Universal Orlando Resort extending its annual Halloween Horror Nights event, and SeaWorld Orlando detailing a new event.

1. New Once Upon a Time show to debut next week at the Magic Kingdom

Once Upon a Time

Image: Disney

 This week Disney shocked fans by announcing that the park’s current nighttime castle projection show, Celebrate the Magic would be ending its four year fun on November 3, 2016. Replacing it the very next day will be Once Upon a Time, a brand new castle projection show featuring characters from Beauty and the Beast,CinderellaPeter PanAlice in Wonderland and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. You can learn more about this new 14-minute show here.

2. Aristocrepes switches to seasonal schedule in November

Image: Disney

Guests visiting the Aristocrepes dining kiosk at Disney Springs will find a few new options in the coming days, including popcorn, Mickey pretzels, chips, and beverages. However, just a few days after expanding its menu, this dining location will switch to seasonal operation, beginning on Friday, November 11. However, crepe fans needn’t fear too much, as nearby Amorette’s Patisserie in the Town Center area of Disney Springs is now serving a mixture of savory and sweet crepes as well to fill this niche, despite also switching to its own reduced schedule recently.

3. Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps character meet and greet to debut at 2016’s Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

Image: Disney 

Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps technically made their Magic Kingdom debut earlier this year at the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party at Magic Kingdom Park, but unfortunately, despite appearing in this daily dance party, these popular characters have not been available for official meet and greets. However, it was confirmed this week that these Zootopia favorites will finally begin meeting guests for the first time at Walt Disney World during the upcoming Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party event. It is unknown if these characters will then have a regular meet and greet after the conclusion of this event.

4. Disney Springs announces Festival of Holiday Trees event

Disney Springs announced the all-new Festival of Holiday Trees event this week, which is a new walk-through attraction that allows guests to wander through an enchanted wonderland and marvel at a stunning collection of custom-decorated and brightly-lit trees, each with its own fun Disney theme. Guests will begin their walk-through experience near the play fountain outside Once Upon a Toy in the Marketplace and from there be able to stroll along a pathway that will allow them to check out exquisitely detailed trees inspired by classic Disney films including Mulan, Dumbo, and even upcoming feature Moana.

5. Epcot announces expanded Holidays Around the World food offerings

Image: Disney

Perhaps in an effort to move closer to a year-round Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, Disney has announced that there will be expanded food kiosks at this year’s Holidays Around the World seasonal event, which kicks off November 25th. You can read more about the development (and peruse full menus for each booth that will be featured this holiday season) here.

6. Moana preview debuts at One Man’s Dream next week

Image: Disney

Though Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ One Man’s Dream attraction is currently home to a preview of Marvel film Doctor Strange, beginning next week this attraction will begin hosting a new preview, this time for Moana, Disney’s next big animated film, slated to release on November 23. Although this film preview will be separate from the upcoming character experience based on Moana, which is coming to an unspecified park sometime before the end of the year, this limited-time preview is expected to play through the end of November, and possibly into the holiday season as well, depending on if Disney decides to screen a preview in this location for the upcoming Star Wars: Rogue One film in December.

7. PizzeRizzo to officially open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 18

PizzeRizzo, the newly reinvented restaurant in the Muppets Courtyard area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios now has an official opening date: November 18. This quick service restaurant will obviously serve pizza, as well as a few other menu items, which you can read more about here.

8. Scaffolding appears around Space Mountain

Though the project to turn the rocks of Tomorrowland has finally been completed, it looks like Disney has now turned its attention to another iconic part of this land: Space Mountain. Scaffolding appeared around this attraction recently, and while we don’t know whether this is for routine maintenance, the installation of new lights, or even a repainting, it is still nice to see Tomorrowland continue to be improved in subtle ways.

10. Guy Harvey Weekend to Take Place November 19 and 20 at SeaWorld Orlando

Next month world-renowned marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey will be making an appearance at SeaWorld Orlando for Guy Harvey Weekend, which will allow fans to attend informative presentations and meet-and-greets with Harvey himself. In addition to these activities (which are included with park admission), SeaWorld will also be offering the following upcharge experiences:

Guy Harvey Sharks Up Close Tour–  During this experience Guy Harvey will takes visitors on an unforgettable “up close” tour of SeaWorld Orlando’s Shark Encounter attraction. Guests will get closer than ever to a wide variety of sharks and learn more about their world. This tour includes a family photo with Guy Harvey, as well as a signed mini-print of Guy Harvey artwork. Pricing begins at $39 per person.

Dinner With Guy Harvey At Sharks Underwater Grill–  This experience will include dinner at Sharks Underwater Grill with a special menu of sustainable seafood specialties. Guy Harvey will be on hand to share compelling stories of the ocean, his artwork, and the inspiring beauty of the natural world during this 3-course dining experience. Guests will receive a family photo with Guy Harvey, a signed mini-print of Guy’s artwork and one specialty beverage as part of the event. Pricing begins at $99 per guest.

Pass Member Exclusive Meet & Greet With Rum Tasting – This Pass Member only event allows attendees to join Guy Harvey for an evening of inspiration and conservation on SeaWorld’s Waterfront. Pass Members will also have the opportunity to enjoy a specialty rum tasting experience and receive a family photo with Guy Harvey, one specialty beverage and a set of exclusive specialty glasses. Pricing begins at $29 per pass member.


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Don Korta
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