What’s New This Week?
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
Magic Kingdom Park
New! Some 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.
Reminder! Temporary Changes to Parades and Shows: Due to construction work, some Magic Kingdom entertainment offerings will be impacted certain dates throughout January. The Main Street Trolley Show and Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play it! will be adjusted Jan. 15 and 29. On these dates, the Trolley Show will use the Main Street fire truck and Move it! Shake it! Dance and Play it! will be presented at 12:30 and 15:40.
Reminder! ‘Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival’ to Now Open At Epcot: This new experience will feature a look into the visionary minds behind some of the world’s most iconic animated films today. Once inside the theater, guests can put on their 3D glasses and enter the imaginative worlds of three animated shorts – “Get A Horse,” “For The Birds” and “La Luna” – which will burst to life on the big screen (and in the theater) like never before. ‘Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival’ is now open in Future World at Epcot.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Reminder! Club Villain Event Jan 16, 2016: Beginning January 16, 2016, Disney’s Studios presents Club Villain, a specially ticketed dining and entertainment offering available on select nights in Sunset Showcase. Experience fabulous performances, delicious food, bewitching cocktails and enchanting encounters with some of the greatest Disney villains. Club Villain is hosted by the mysterious Dr. Facilier who welcomes his guests and friends from the other side to his parlor of mystical mishaps, with musical numbers and a wicked mix from his house DJ. Also stopping by to socialize are those divas of evil, Maleficent, Queen of Hearts, Cruella De Vil and the Evil Queen. Club Villain will be available on select nights. Club Villain takes place select evenings for $99 per person, tax and gratuity included. Reservations are recommended and can be made up to 90 days in advance online or by calling 407-939-3463. A separate ticket for admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required.
Reminder! Pizza Planet Refurbishment Begins Jan 19: Disney has announced plans to expand and refurbish Pizza Planet in 2016. As a result, the quick service restaurant will temporarily close Jan. 19. It is planned to reopen in late 2016 with additional seating, but still serving the pizza and salads.
Reminder! Star Wars Specialty Cupcakes Now Available: Three Star Wars themed cupcakes are available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Darth Vader chocolate peanut butter cupcake, BB-8 lemon cupcake with vanilla buttercream, and chocolate coconut Kashyyyk German chocolate cupcake. You can find the Star Wars themed cupcakes at Backlot Express, Catalina Eddie’s, Studio Catering Co., Trolley Car Cafe, Rosie’s All American Cafe, ABC Commissary and Starring Rolls. Cupcakes are $5.99 + tax.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
New! ‘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.
New! Aardvark at Rafiki’s Planet Watch: Willie the aardvark is a new resident at Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Willie frequents the outdoor stage next to Affection Section. Willie is getting acclimated to his new home and spends his time learning new skills, exploring, sleeping and eating things like bugs, bananas and avocados. On occasion, he’ll get honeycomb larvae as a special treat.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
New! Sanaa at Disney’s Kidani Village Gets New Menu Items: Sanaa offers a melding of Indian and African influences inspired by the resort’s African theme and the melding of the two cultures so closely connected on the ancient Spice Trade Route. Chef Eddie Mendoza has added new dishes to the menu that he calls “African with an Indian touch.” New favorites include a Traditional Sosatie cooked on skewers with lamb and apricots, and served with butternut squash, bacon, cashews and goat cheese. The Biryani, generally considered an Indian dish, gets African spice and seasonal vegetables “influenced from the Cape of Good Hope. Another new offerings is “Boerewors and Slaphakskeentjies,” traditional South African sausages (boerewors) served with a Cape Malay Onion Salad (slaphakskeentjies). Existing favorites are also still available on the menu.
Reminder! Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Temporarily Closed: Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort–Riverside is closed for refurbishment Jan. 11–Feb. 29. In the meantime, Guests may use the Leisure Pools located in Alligator Bayou or Magnolia Bend or to Doubloon Lagoon at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort–French Quarter.
Reminder! Changes to BoardWalk Area Shops: To make way for new experiences, The Yard and ESPN Club merchandise shop have closed. It has not yet been announced what will replace these shops.
Walt Disney World Resort – General
New! Blizzard Beach Closed thru Jan 14: Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed through Thursday, January 14, 2016 due to forecasted low temperatures.
New! Refurbishment at Fantasia Gardens Mini Golf: The Fairways course at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will be closing January 18th for refurbishment. The course is currently scheduled to reopen on February 12th. The Gardens course at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will remain open for guests to enjoy.
New! The Willis Clan Will Perform at Disney Springs: The Willis Clan, a family musical group known for their reality TV series on TLC and appearances on “America’s Got
Talent,” will perform at Raglan Road Irish Pub & Restaurant at Disney Springs on Jan. 19-22.
New! The Florida Cup returns to the ESPN Wide World of Sports: The Florida Cup returns to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Jan. 10-20, drawing international soccer teams and their legions of fans from around the globe to Central Florida. Doubling in size for 2016, the 10-day tournament, played around several cities in Florida, will feature popular South American and European soccer teams, such as two-time FIFA World Champion SC Corinthians and four-time Brazilian Champion Fluminese FC, as well as top clubs from Brazil, Germany, Colombia and Ukraine. For more information and details, visit https://www.espnwwos.com/sports/soccer/
New! La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil New Acts: The team at “La Nouba” is at it again, this time bringing in two brand-new acts: a high-energy trio of breakdancing b-boys that will make your head spin and a mesmerizing aerial bamboo act that will leave you breathless.
Jan. 16: Meet artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith who will be on hand showcasing some of her newest releases, among other favorites, from 4 – 7 p.m. in WonderGround Gallery at Marketplace Co-Op.
Jan. 22 – 24: ACME Artist Raymond Swanland will be appearing from 7 – 9p.m., each day at Star Wars Galactic Outpost (previously D-Street) in Disney Springs West Side. Don’t miss the chance to see some of his latest Star Wars releases.
New! Home Figurines Inspired by Disney Parks: New figurines inspired by characters and icons from attractions found at Disneyland or Walt Disney World Resorts have recently been released at Disney Centerpiece in the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Spring. Originally the collection included a stylized Sleeping Beauty Castle, Mr. Toad, the Orange Bird, elephants from The Jungle Cruise attraction, and a pineapple ice cream trinket box. The new figures feature crocodile from Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Al from Country Bear Jamboree, and Figment from Journey into Imagination at Epcot, Monstro the whale found at Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland park, a hippopotamus from the “it’s a small world” attraction and a miniature version of the Moonliner from Tomorrowland at Disneyland park.
Closures and Refurbishments
Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.