What’s New This Week?
New 10-Course Menu at Victoria & Albert’s Expands Exquisite Dining Experience
Around the Mouse – July 15, 2015
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! New ECVs at Magic Kingdom Park: A new model of Electronic Conveyance Vehicle (ECV) is in circulation at Magic Kingdom Park. The ECVs have new and improved features, such as a new brake location (The brake lever is now located in the back of the ECV, just above the right wheel); Handles and controls (The lever on the right moves the ECV forward, while the lever on the left moves the ECV in reverse); an LED battery gauge (When flashing, the driver should restart their ECV); and USB charging port (This port will only charge devices while the ECV is on).
Reminder! ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Character Meet Has Moved: Characters from “The Princess and the Frog” will now meet Guests at Heritage House in Liberty Square.
Reminder! Adjusted times for Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party: Due to work on Main Street, U.S.A, Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! will be presented at 12:30 and 5:40 p.m. on the following dates: July 15, July 21, and July 22. Also during these dates, the Main Street Trolley Show will use the Main Street Fire Truck.
New! 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Expands to Future World: For the first time ever, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is stretching into the park’s Future World with four new food and beverage marketplaces. The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16, and will feature more than 30 global marketplaces for sipping and noshing throughout the park. Along the walkway toward Future World West, the new Artistry of Wine & Cheese festival area will feature the Cheese Studio (offering a cheese sampler served on an artist’s palette to pair with wines) and the Wine Studio with premium wines on tap – each keg keeps the wine super fresh and holds the equivalent of 26 bottles, eliminating bottle, cork, cardboard and paper waste. Bottles, corks and materials from other marketplaces are recycled. Then, near the Epcot Character Spot, the new Next Eats area will debut with Sustainable Chew and Chew Lab marketplaces inspired by ABC’s Emmy-Award® winning lifestyle series “The Chew.” Sustainable Chew will feature three dishes, and Chew Lab will show off hot culinary tech trends like a Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel.
Updated! Captain EO to Return July 18: The “Inside Out” preview at the Imagination pavilion theater closed July 5. Captain EO will return to the Imagination pavilion on July 19. Booking for Captain EO as a FastPass+ selection is available now for dates starting July 18.
Reminder! Sounds Like Summer Concert Series Under Way: Enjoy the Sounds Like Summer Concert Series at Epcot through July 25. Every night, hear talented tribute bands bring top rock n’ roll hits to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Showtimes for the concert series are 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m., and on July 4, 5:15, 6:30, 7:45 and 9 p.m.
- Stayin’ Alive – A Tribute to the Bee Gees – July 12-18
- Hotel California – A Salute to the Eagles – July 19-25
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Reminder! New Menu Items at Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: The Hollywood Brown Derby has recently added new small plates and beverages and has a newly renovated outdoor bar. New small plates include grilled Bloody Mary-marinated shrimp and chorizo and heirloom tomatoes on toasted ciabatta with garlic herb butter and a new seasonal soup — Zellwood Corn Bisque, served with a corn and lobster fritter and Ancho chili oil. Or share the Crispy Bites, featuring parmesan and goat cheese risotto sticks with a peach-habanero chili sauce, Brie with a sweet onion and orange jam, and affiné blue and mushroom arancini with a fig and balsamic dip. These new tastes join favorites like The Famous Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad, Derby Sliders, and Artisanal Cheeses and Charcuterie Board. New additions to the drink menu include a Mint Julep made with premium reserve bourbon; the new Bloody Mary turns up the heat with pepper-infused vodka and a garnish of olives, spicy pickles, and pickled green beans; a Champagne Cocktail with sweet and floral elderflower liqueur and Fairytale by Iron Horse Celebration Cuvee (exclusive to Walt Disney Parks and Resorts); Sangria; and, the Grapefruit Cake Martini — a delicious twist on the classic dessert.
Reminder! ‘Frozen Summer Fun’ Cupcakes Still Available: On Wednesday, June 17, Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuted three Frozen-themed specialty cupcakes! Anna’s cupcake is made out of chocolate buttercream, Elsa’s cupcake is made out of vanilla buttercream and Olaf’s cupcake is made out of carrot cake with cream cheese icing. These treats will be available at the following locations: ABC Commissary, FairFax Fare, Backlot Express, Studio Catering Co., Pizza Planet, Starring Rolls, Rosie’s All American Café, and The Trolley Car Café. The cupcakes are included in Disney Dining Plan, and all “Frozen” specialty cupcakes will be available through Sept. 7
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
New! Flame Tree Barbecue ReOpened: You can now enjoy your Flame Tree Barbecue favorites at the newly refurbished location. Flame Tree Barbecue reopened June 30.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Seasonal Operating Hours in Place for Walt Disney World Spas: Beginning on Sunday, July 12, select Walt Disney World spas will have reduced operating hours. These seasonal operating hours will be in effect through Monday, Oct. 5. Please see below for affected spa locations.
- Senses – A Disney Spa locations: 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Friday–Sunday
- Ship Shape Massage Salon Fitness at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 9 a.m.–7 p.m. Friday–Sunday
- All other Walt Disney World spas: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. daily
- Please note: La Vida Health Club at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort is closed for refurbishment through Oct. 12.
New! Wilderness Lodge Refurbishments: Disney’s Wilderness Lodge will be undergoing multiple refurbishment projects through 2017. Work will begin in October, with the Hidden Springs leisure pool area, resort beach, playground and Recreation fire pit closing for renovation as early as Oct. 26. Guests with existing reservations between Oct. 26, 2015 and Jan. 31, 2016 will be proactively contacted and advised of the work taking place. As a follow-up to those conversations, Guests will also receive a pre-arrival letter.
New! 10-Course Menu at Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian: Per the Disney Parks Blog: With the distinction of being the only AAA Five Diamond restaurant in Central Florida (and one of only three in the state), Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa continues to raise the bar. The award-winning dining room is adding a new Chef’s Degustation Menu, a series of 10 small courses featuring some of Chef Scott Hunnel’s favorite dishes inspired by the seasons and by his world travels to Asia, Spain, Italy and France. The seven-course Chef’s Tasting Menu will remain, and the kitchen will continue to meld tradition with innovative cuisine “for an avant-garde culinary journey,” says Israel Perez, maître d’hôtel. Other big changes include a focus on food-and-wine pairings in the adjacent Queen Victoria Room. With just eight seats, diners will be offered Chef Hunnel’s 10-course menu paired with exclusive wines from Victoria & Albert’s impressive wine cellar. The seven-course menu is $185 ($250 with wine pairings); the 10-course menu is $235 ($340 with wine pairings). Dinner in the Queen Victoria Room is $340, and includes 10 courses paired with wine. The Chef’s Table in the kitchen is $250. The restaurant is open daily for dinner.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! Hess Express to Become Speedway: The three Hess Express locations at Walt Disney World will convert to the Speedway brand on the dates below. Each location will be closed from 5 a.m. beginning that morning to the following morning at 5 a.m. Signage will direct Guests to the open locations while locations are in changeover. July 14: Boardwalk, July 15: Downtown Disney, July 16: Magic Kingdom Toll Plaza.
New! Invictus Games coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2016: Announced by Prince Harry from London via video, the second Invictus Games will be held on May 8-12, 2016 at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney World Resort. The Invictus Games is the only international adaptive sporting event for injured active duty and veteran service members. Invictus Games Orlando 2016 will bring together more than 400 competitors from up to 14 nations to compete in 10 sports – archery, cycling, indoor rowing, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, triathlon, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair tennis. The Invictus Games drew more than 400 athletes from 13 countries – plus some 65,000 spectators – in its inaugural year in London in 2014, which was seen by more than 10 million more fans on TV.
New! Package Storage Test at Downtown Disney: Now through Aug. 9, Downtown Disney will offer complimentary package storage, allowing Guests carrying large merchandise bags to continue their day at Downtown Disney hands-free. Greeters and Guest Relations Cast Members will assist Guests carrying large purchases, storing them at the Marketplace and West Side Guest Relations locations during regular operating hours. During this test, package storage will be available Fridays-Sundays from 2-6 p.m.
Reminder! The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s Open at The Landing: The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s opened last week at The Landing, featuring teas from the finest tea gardens around the globe. Guests visiting this modern-meets-Old World tea café can order loose leaf teas prepared in a variety of ways? steeped hot, iced, blended, spirited and even edible (in the form of delicious cookies and treats). The custom-blended teas can be enjoyed in the café or on the go. Special loose-leaf teas and herbal infusions will be blended on site daily and available for purchase to take home. The Tea Traders Café by Joffrey’s is located in The Landing on the corner between Vivoli il Gelato and Chapel Hats, across from Waterview Park and The BOATHOUSE.
New! Disney PhotoPass Location Change at Disney’s Blizzard Beach: Disney Photopass at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be relocating. Beginning, Thursday, July 16, Disney Photopass will be located at the Beach Haus, allowing Guests the ability to view and purchase their photos at a more convenient location.
New! Extras for Guests Purchasing Guerlain: Visit the La Signature Shoppe in Epcot and discover the secret of the Orchidee Imperiale and its age defying effectiveness. Guests who purchase any Guerlain fragrance July 15-19 will receive complimentary bottle painting or engraving.
July 13 – 18: Artist Greg McCullough returns this month with special appearances and signings July 13 – 18 and July 27 – August 1 from 1 – 8p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.
July 17 – 18: Meet artist Jeremiah Ketner who will be on hand for a special artist showcase and signing at WonderGround Gallery in Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney Marketplace from 5 – 8p.m., each day.
July 23 – 26: Meet artist William Silvers who will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his newest releases from 1 – 9p.m., each day, at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. Not able to make it? William will return for additional signing opportunities July 30 – August 1 from 12 Noon – 8 p.m., each day, at Main Street Cinema in Magic Kingdom Park.
Closures and Refurbishments