What’s New This Week?
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
Reminder! Some Character Meet and Greets Relocated: Beginning Jan. 13, Lady Tremaine, the Stepsisters and Fairy Godmother will be greeting Guests near the castle walls next to Pinocchio Village Haus.
New! Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Details: Two new spring-inspired Outdoor Kitchens, three mischievous Disney topiary characters and an innovative musical play garden will debut during the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.
Outdoor Kitchens: New culinary creations at the festival’s Outdoor Kitchens will take guests on a Caribbean tour at La Isla Fresca with flavors like Jamaican Braised Beef with Pigeon-Pea Rice and Jerk-Spiced Grouper or Chicken with Mango Salsa. At the new Cider House, a Field Greens salad with greens harvested from The Land pavilion, heirloom apples, Stilton cheese and dried blueberries will pair well with a blueberry hard cider from Plant City, Fla. Dozens of new food and beverage flavors will debut, as well, at the festival’s 11 other Outdoor Kitchens.
Topiaries: The first-ever Huey, Dewey and Louie topiaries will feature floral interpretations of Donald’s nephews inspired by a 1943 Donald Duck comic book called “The Victory Garden” at the Epcot front-entrance garden display with Donald and Daisy. Anna and Elsa topiaries will travel to the Norway pavilion festival landscape, and nearly 100 topiary characters, including Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Lady and the Tramp, Simba and Peter Pan, will animate the Epcot landscape surrounded by themed gardens featuring herbs, peppers, orchids and more.
Kids Areas: A new hands-on Music Garden Melodies musical playground will debut featuring Disney’s Fab Five topiaries of “band leader” Mickey Mouse plus Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck topiaries. With the playground’s interactive drums, chimes and xylophones, children can create their own musical sounds when they’re not scampering across innovative outdoor climbing systems with safe, but challenging, net-based structures. Watch for music-themed plants that add harmony to this inspired play area. The popular Cactus Road Rally play garden returns with Disney-Pixar topiary pals Mater and Lightning McQueen from the hit film, “Cars.”
New This Year: The Ranger Mickey topiary garden in Future World will offer a guest selfie and family photo opportunity featuring a Spaceship Earth backdrop to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service launched in 1916 to conserve the country’s natural scenic treasures.
New! Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Concerts Announced: This year’s Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival expands from 75 to 90 days, adding two additional concert series weekends to the lineup and extending the final weekend of performances to Memorial Day. Thirteen pop bands with hits spanning several decades will play the Garden Rocks Concert Series at the 23rd Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 2-May 30, 2016. Blood, Sweat & Tears, BRIAN HOWE, former lead singer of Bad Company, Darlene Love and Georgia Satellites will rock Epcot audiences for the first time. Night Ranger, a fan favorite band that’s played the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, will make a Flower & Garden Festival debut. The Orchestra starring former members of ELO, who topped charts in the 1970s and ‘80s, will kick off the concert series March 4-6. Performances are at America Gardens Theatre at 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival and are included with Epcot admission.
Here is this year’s lineup (subject to change without notice):
- March 4-6 The Orchestra starring former members of ELO “Evil Woman”
- March 11-13 Starship starring Mickey Thomas “We Built This City”
- March 18-20 Little River Band “Lady”
- March 25-27 Village People “Y.M.C.A.”
- April 1-3 Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone “I’m Henry the VIII, I Am”
- April 8-10 The Guess Who “These Eyes”
- April 15-17 NEW!Blood, Sweat & Tears featuring Bo Bice “Spinning Wheel”
- April 22-24 NEW! Brian Howe, former lead singer of Bad Company “Can’t Get Enough”
- April 29-May 1 NEW! Georgia Satellites “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”
- May 6-8 Gin Blossoms “Hey Jealousy”
- May 13-15 NEW!Darlene Love “Wait ‘Til My Bobby Gets Home”
- May 20-22 Night Ranger “Sister Christian”
- May 27-30 The Spinners “Working My Way Back to You”
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Reminder! Pizza Planet Refurbishment In progress: Disney has announced plans to expand and refurbish Pizza Planet in 2016. As a result, the quick service restaurant is now temporarily closed. It is planned to reopen in late 2016 with additional seating, but still serving the pizza and salads.
Reminder! Kylo Ren Coming to Star Wars Launch Bay in Early Feb: Soon guests at Disney Parks will be able to interact with one of STAR WARS: The Force Awakens’ most intriguing new characters, Kylo Ren. Beginning in early Feb, a visit to Star Wars Launch Bay at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will transport you to the Star Wars galaxy for an encounter with Kylo Ren on the bridge of his First Order Star Destroyer. Darth Vader will no longer be available for a meet and greet in this area but young Jedis can encounter him at Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Reminder! ‘Lion Guard Adventure’ Coming Feb. 7: If you have seen the hit TV movie “The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar,” on Disney Channel, you won’t want to miss this new activity coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests will be able to become honorary members of the Lion Guard in a brand new experience called The Lion Guard Adventure starting Feb 7, 2016. This interactive experience will allow young guests to explore the park in search of five main characters from “The Lion Guard” – Kion, Bunga, Fuli, Beshte, and Ono, who are represented as colorful statues that are perfect for a kid-sized photo-ops. The experience encourages interest in protecting animals and caring for nature. Once they complete the adventure, each child can take a special pledge to become an honorary member of “The Lion Guard” and receive a special button. This activity is currently scheduled through late March.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Mardi Gras Parade at Disney Port Orleans Resorts: The annual Mardi Gras pargo parade will step off at 10 a.m. at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. The parade will travel from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside to Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter and back again. This year’s theme is “Let the Board Games Roll” featuring Cast favorite board games.
New! ‘Ohana Breakfast Extended: Beginning Jan. 31, Guests can have an extra hour to dine with Lilo, Stitch and friends at the Polynesian-inspired family style breakfast at ‘Ohana located in Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. The breakfast meal period will be from 7:30 a.m.-noon daily.
Reminder! Afternoon Tea Coming to Disney’s Beach Club: Beginning Feb. 11, Disney’s Beach Club Resort will begin offering Afternoon Tea at the Crescent Solarium during the following select dates: Feb. 11-14, Feb. 18-21, March 24-29, May 5-8, June 16-19 and Sept. 1-5. The tranquil, comfortable solarium overlooking Crescent Gardens provides an elegant setting for Guests to enjoy classic afternoon tea, savories and sweets, such as house-made scones, petite sandwiches and pastries. A variety of alcoholic beverages will also be available. Afternoon Tea will be served from 1-5 p.m. and Guests can make reservations at waltdisneyworld.com or by calling 407-WDW-DINE beginning Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! Blizzard Beach Closed Feb 5: Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed Friday, February 5, 2016 due to forecasted low temperatures.
New! Starbucks Winter Offerings Available Feb 16: Beginning Feb. 16, Main Street Bakery at Magic Kingdom, Fountain View at Epcot, and Creature Comforts at Animal Kingdom will offer a variety of items as part of the Starbucks 2016 Winter offerings.
Reminder! Knight Package at Disney Springs Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique not only offers princess transformations, but it also offers a makeover experience for knights. The Knight Package includes hairstyling with gel; a mighty sword and shield; and confetti. Reservations are recommended for the Knight Package or other makeover experiences at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Appointments can be made up to 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895).
February 4 – 29: Representatives from Precious Moments dolls will be on hand for the release of their new Valentine inspired collection, among other fan favorites, throughout the day, each day, at Marketplace Fun Finds in Disney Springs Marketplace. Tip: Doll Designer Linda Rick will make a special appearance February 19 – 21.
February 10 – 14: Greg McCullough will be on hand for a special appearance and signing of his latest works at Art of Disney at Epcot from 1 – 8 p.m., each day. Also look for additional appearances by Greg later this month at Disney Springs.
Closures and Refurbishments
Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.