What’s New This Week?
Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, Jan 2, 2017
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! Disney After Hours Returns: Back by popular demand, Disney After Hours, the special ticketed event returns this month. Disney After Hours is available to a limited number of Guests, which enables participants to maximize their time in the park with little to no wait at experiences. Ice cream novelties, popcorn and bottled beverages are also included with admission during the three-hour event. Disney After Hours takes place once the park closes on select nights throughout January, February and March. Event Guests may enter the park as early as 7:00pm and remain in the park for three hours past the scheduled closing time. Pricing is $119 plus tax for both adults and children (ages 3-9). To purchase tickets, Guests may call 407-827-7185. Disney After Hours is available on the following dates:
- January 20 and 27
- February 2, 9 and 16
- March 2 and 9
New! Changes Coming to Park Opening: New enhancements are coming to the way guests will experience the opening of Magic Kingdom Park – starting on January 9! If you’ve experienced the park’s “opening moment” during previous vacations, you may recall waiting at the front of the park to kick off the day. Beginning January 9, guests will be allowed to enter the Main Street, U.S.A. area of the park even earlier than the park’s scheduled opening time. This will allow guests time to savor the charm of Main Street, U.S.A., enjoy breakfast or a warm drink at the Main Street Bakery featuring Starbucks. Then promptly at opening, a new welcome show will officially open the park for the day on the Castle Forecourt Stage. A Royal Herald will appear to deliver a proclamation and welcome a few familiar characters to the stage, officially opening the park so “the magic can begin!”
New! Disney on Broadway Stars Take Center Stage at the New Epcot International Festival of the Arts: When the Epcot International Festival of the Arts begins January 13, you’ll find performing arts celebrating all styles and genres of music – with the Disney twist – all around Epcot. Disney Theatrical Productions will bring an exciting new showcase of favorite music and Broadway talent to the America Gardens Theatre stage. Throughout the six weekends of the festival, different pairings of phenomenal Broadway artists will perform songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows. The lineup of performers for this brand new series includes:
- Jan. 13-16 and 20-23: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland performing songs from: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid
- Jan. 27-30 and Feb. 3-6: Kerry Butler and Kevin Massey performing songs from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Newsies and Aladdin
- Feb. 10-13 and 17-20: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White performing songs from Disney’s The Lion King, Aida, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid
Performances will be 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday through Monday of each festival weekend. Future World Plaza will also be filled with a variety of other visual and live performances including Epcot Living Statues, performances by Central Florida high schools and acclaimed university and college talent appearing through a partnership with Disney Performing Arts. Plus, Epcot’s American Music Machine will perform on the Future World Fountain Stage. The festival runs Fridays through Mondays from Jan. 13 – Feb. 20.
New! Epcot Celebrates Canada’s 150th Birthday with Special Buttons: If you visit our Canada Pavilion at Epcot, you can now join a celebration of the country’s upcoming 150th birthday and receive a special button marking the milestone. From now until July 1, 2017, commemorative buttons will be available to guests at Epcot’s Canada Pavilion. Everyone is invited to join in the fun. The Canada birthday buttons are available at Epcot now through July 1, 2017, while supplies last. No purchase is necessary.
New! Bookings Open for Select Experiences During Epcot International Festival of the Arts: Over the six weekends of the festival beginning Jan. 13, you can sign up for interactive workshops like the Gesture Drawing Class, led by former Disney animator Todd Bright. Other select workshops include watercolor painting, mixed media art, calligraphy and floral arrangements. The Interactive Workshops are $39+tax each Friday-Monday of the Festival. You can also make a reservation for a meal and performance combo: a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner, followed by a phenomenal Disney on Broadway inspired concert – nightly during the Festival from January 13 – February 20, 2017. The concert series will pair Broadway talent with favorite songs from award-winning Disney shows such as “The Lion King,” “Newsies” and “Aladdin”. The Dining package includes a three-course meal or full buffet and priority seating at the 8:00 p.m. concert at participating Epcot restaurants. Prices range from $39- $69+ tax for adults, $23-$41+tax for children. You can book now by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Reminder! Club Villain Discounts Available: A discount is now available for select Club Villain events for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. Discounted tickets are $99 (including tax and gratuity) on select dates from now through January 28, 2017. To book the experience, Annual Passholders should call the Disney Reservation Center at 407-WDW-DINE; Disney Vacation Club Members should call Member Services at 800-800-9800.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Reminder! Kali River Rapids Unavailable Jan. 2–Feb. 13: Kali River Rapids will be temporarily unavailable due to refurbishment Jan. 2–Feb. 13.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! 2017 Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Returns: The 24th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna returns to Walt Disney World Resort January 4-8 with a series of events leading up to the big race that winds through each park and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. As one of the largest sporting events in Central Florida, and one of the nation’s top destination races, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is expected to draw more than 100,000 fans, spectators and runners from around the globe.
New! Stance Now Open at Disney Springs: Stance, described as the “Masters of Knit,” is now open at Disney Springs. Specializing in high-quality socks and underwear, Stance offers products for men, women, and children in a variety of styles and designs. Since its inception six years ago, Stance has grown into a brand that embraces creativity and originality. The location at Disney Springs features an artistic Punk & Poet wall, showcasing artists, musicians, athletes and more to celebrate the “uncommon thread” between people. Stance is located in Town Center between Superdry and Shore.
New! New ALEX AND ANI Designs for 2017: Disney Parks Blog readers helped select new “Words Are Powerful” Color Infusion bangles by ALEX AND ANI. This collection features Disney sayings and attributes of some of the most beloved characters. The top three phrases as voted by Disney Parks Blog readers were:
- Make Your Own Path – Pocahontas
- Be Forever Brave – Merida
- Unlock the Magic – Jasmine
These Disney Parks fan-selected bangles will join the “Words Are Powerful” collection in spring 2017. Also, new park icon bangles will be coming to Disney Parks in early 2017. To make room for these new designs, they will be retiring the original park icon bangles first introduced a few years ago.
New! 2017 Merchandise Now Arriving: Some of the most popular products from Disney Parks are now arriving in merchandise locations with the 2017 date on them. This year, Walt Disney World is offering an out-of-this-world collection that has a dash of Disney magic. Disney Design Group artists were inspired by the nighttime skies found at Disney Parks when creating this year’s cosmic-themed artwork.
Guests who enjoy collecting or trading Disney pins will find open edition pins along with a new four-pin starter set.
There is also an eight-pin mystery collection which has Disney characters pictured in front constellations. Each box contains two randomly selected pins.
Closures and Refurbishments Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort