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Tips & News — Walt Disney World

Rumored Announcements At This Weekend's D23 Expo

Rumored Announcements At This Weekend's D23 Expo

Disney's D23 expo will take place this weekend in Anaheim and, as always, the rumor mill is swirling. Every other year, Disney execs host the D23 expo to make announcements and showcase their upcoming plans. Let's take a look at some potential big news dropping this weekend.

Toy Story Land

Rumor has it we'll be getting a firm date for the opening of Toy Story Land inside Hollywood Studios within the next 10 months. More information on retail and dining options is also expected. If you haven't seen it yet, here's a look at the recent construction progress and the official logo!

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WDW Gondola System

This is now less of a rumor considering construction has already begun at Epcot's International Gateway.  Disney is expected to release more specifics around the timeline for its opening. The route has already been confirmed and will connect Epcot, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century, Art of Animation and Hollywood Studios.

Star Wars Land

Currently a simultaneous build going on at Disneyland and Hollywood Studios, Disney is likely to drop some specifics around these two huge expansions. Both are scheduled to open in 2019 with Disneyland finishing first and Hollywood Studios wrapping up later in the year. Although these are expected to be extremely similar, the biggest difference is the rumored boutique hotel at the Hollywood Studios land. Will we be getting confirmation on this hotel this weekend at D23? Let's just wait and see!

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The Great Movie Ride or The Great Mickey Ride?

Although the The Great Movie Ride is one of my absolute favorite classics at Hollywood Studios it is rumored to be next in line for replacement. Yes, it will most likely be closed within the next year and a new very similar experience based solely around Mickey Mouse will be taking its place. "The Great Mickey Ride" is rumored to be opening in California Adventure, as well. It is supposed to showcase trackless ride technology and projection mapping. Hopefully we'll get a confirmation and some specifics this weekend.

Here's a shortlist of other rumors swirling around Disney these days. Little to no information can be confirmed just yet.

  • Moana-themed attraction in Adventureland
  • Tron-themed attraction in Tomorrowland replacing the Speedway
  • Ratatoullie ride coming to the France pavilion at Epcot
  • Guardians of the Galaxy attractions coming to Future World at Epcot
  • Zootopia retail, dining and meet-and-greets in Animal Kingdom
  • Brazil pavilion coming to Epcot

The D23 Convention begins this Friday, July14th and ends Sunday the 16th.

Walt said it himself that the parks will never truly be finished!

What changes are you most excited about? Are there any you are disappointed about?

Where to Cool Off at Magic Kingdom

Where to Cool Off at Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom is the happiest place on Earth regardless of the weather, but we can probably all agree that Orlando summers are particularly rough. A summer day in the park usually involves dense crowds, plenty of standing in the sun, and a lot of sweating. It’s very important that you not only hydrate frequently but also take cool off breaks.

We’ve listed some of our favorite spots to catch some AC and recuperate below:

Shows

Hall of Presidents – This is for when you REALLY need a rest. The chairs are comfy, the air is nice and cool, and the show lasts 25 minutes. Essentially, this is the nap room of Magic Kingdom. By the time we leave Hall of Presidents, we always feel completely refreshed and ready go!

Carousel of Progress – Similar to Hall of Presidents, this show is another 20-minute refresher in an air conditioned theater. You can find Carousel of Progress in Tomorrowland!

Mickey’s Philharmonic – Ok nappers, this one is not for you. I love Mickey’s Philharmonic but it is LOUD! It’s a 12-minute show that takes you through some of your favorite classics, such as “Be Our Guest” and “A Whole New World.” The wait might be a little longer than some of the other options, but it’s indoors and air conditioned, as well.

Rides

Pirates of the Caribbean – Pirates is such a crowd favorite (despite removal of the wench scene). The line is mostly covered but still hot, so you have to wait until you’re close to the water to really cool off.

Space Mountain – It’s dark, completely inside, and very cool! Not to mention it’s one of the most fun rides in the Kingdom.

Haunted Mansion – I hesitate to put this on the list because almost the entire line is outside and really dang hot. But the ride itself is indoors and so worth the wait!

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – This is one of my all-time favorites! It’s refreshing, interactive and a competition. The goal of this ride is to hit the targets as many times as you can with your laser gun, trying to out-score your partner.  (I always win.)

Under the Sea – Hop in a clam and speed through the story of the Little Mermaid. This ride is relaxing and nostalgic!

 

Don't forget, Main Street has shops galore. These are great for taking quick breaks from the heat. Another great option is to schedule dining reservations for the hottest time of the day. You can relax inside over a late lunch!

Where's your favorite spot to cool off in MK during the summer? Comment below and let us know!

Live Stream Disney's Fireworks Celebration!

Live Stream Disney's Fireworks Celebration!

Happy almost Fourth of July! Thanks to the power of the internet, Disney Parks Blog will be livestreaming their amazing fireworks celebration with the rest of the world this Tuesday! The show, “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky,” will take place at Magic Kingdom, of course. You can tune in at 8:55pm EST, and the fireworks will begin right at 9pm. If you’re wanting to avoid the crowds of your local fireworks show, this is a great option (and honestly probably better). Just throw it on the TV and enjoy the Disney magic!

If you’re at Disney World for the holiday weekend, you can actually catch this show on both Monday AND Tuesday. Monday will probably be less crowded, so if seeing the show on the 4th isn’t extremely important to you, this may be the better option. If you’re going on Tuesday, just make sure you get your spot early!

Disneylanders can catch the show from July 1-4 at 9:30pm over Sleeping Beauty Castle. There will also be an Independence Day themed pre-show before “World of Color.”

You can live stream the celebration here: Disney Parks Blog

 

We hope everyone has a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

 

Which Resort is the Perfect Fit for Your Next Trip?

Grand Floridian Resort

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World and you don’t live near the parks, chances are you’re going to be booking a hotel for your stay. There are 30 official Disney resorts to choose from and many more “Disney World Good Neighbor Hotels.” I’ve taken both routes for my trips. In fact, I had never stayed at a true Disney Resort until last year! While the good neighbor hotels can be right depending on the situation, I would definitely encourage you to stay at a Disney Hotel. The many benefits and endless magic of these hotels make it worth the higher price tag.

What benefits, you ask? Convenience. I can’t stress this enough. If you plan on going to multiple parks, Disney Springs, or want to explore the other resorts, staying at a Disney Resort is so worth it! There's free transportation to and from everything on the Disney property. Talk about staying stress-free on your vacation. These resorts also accept the Disney Dining Plan, serve your favorite park foods (Mickey Waffles anyone?), and sell official park merchandise.

To top it off, each resort has a specific theme! Whether you’re wanting a beach trip or feel like staying in N'awlins (New Orleans), you can find exactly what you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for the ultimate convenience:

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Staying on the boardwalk is a must if you love Epcot! You can walk right from your hotel directly into the park in a few minutes. Check out Disney’s Beach Club Resort to get the best of both worlds – the beach and the parks! Another great option for all you SPG members are the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. We just stayed in the Dolphin (hello SPG points) and loved it! I can’t tell you enough how great it is to walk up to Epcot and sneak right in beside our favorite French restaurant. If you’re wanting to stay as close as you can to Magic Kingdom, book your stay at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

If you’re looking for the top of the line:

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Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This place is serious hotel goals. Modeled after the famous Hotel Del Coronado, this lavish resort will have you never wanting to leave. Ever. Looking for more of an island vibe? Check out Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows. This place is luxurious and relaxing. Directly across from Magic Kingdom, you can watch the fireworks every night from either of these resorts.

If you’re looking for the “nature” feel:

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lets you stay literally in Animal Kingdom. These rooms overlook 4 savannas filled with animals from the wild. Where else can a giraffe walk feet away from your hotel balcony? This one is for sure on my bucket list. Now for those of you into the camping scene, the Cabins at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort may be the perfect fit! Your family will stay in its own personal cabin surrounded by nature. It’s a great option if you’re looking to escape to peace and quiet after those long exhausting days in the parks.

If you’re looking to experience the magic for less:

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Disney’s All-Star Resorts give you all of those official perks without that sometimes heart-stopping price. You should also check out Disney’s Pop Century Resort and the Art of Animation Resort. There are a lot of options if you’re looking to have a lower budget for the lodging. They may not be across the pond from Magic Kingdom but you’ll still have free bus transportation. If your mentality is that you’ll be spending all of your time in the parks each day, then this may be the perfect fit for your trip!

Of course there are many more options to choose from when you’re deciding where to stay. You can go to Disney’s website for pricing and rates on vacation packages!

Have a favorite Disney resort? Let us know what makes it your top pick!

*All pictures taken from https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/resorts/

Everything You Need to Know About Pandora: World of Avatar

Pandora Avatar

Opening day is almost here! As of May 27th, you will officially be able to visit the new addition to Animal Kingdom. Whether you're visiting opening weekend or waiting for the crowds to die down (they won't!), we have some highlights and tips to help you plan your first experience in Pandora.

Try to grab a FastPass+ to avoid the lines of the two new rides. Here's what Disney's website has to say about Avatar Flight of Passage and Navi River Journey:

Navi River Journey: “As your expedition begins, climb aboard a reed boat and drift downstream. After coasting through a series of caves, and passing by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures of the rainforest, you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs.”

Avatar Flight of Passage: “Get a banshee’s-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of Pandora on a rite of passage you won’t soon forget! Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, discover Avatar Flight of Passage—an all-new expedition that lets interstellar explorers like you climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s incredible landscape. Bonding with a mountain banshee is a crucial step in the life of a Na’vi hunter—and flying on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage.”

Need a snack break? There are two new spots to grab some refreshments between the rides:

Satu'li Canteen: “Discover healthful dishes and familiar flavors from another world—wholesome grains, fresh vegetables and hearty proteins."

Pongu Pongu: "Meaning “Party Party” in the language of the Na’vi, Pongu Pongu welcomes weary travelers to try our bioluminescent frozen cocktail, indigenous beers—or even a sweet snack you won’t find elsewhere!”

There will be many unique experiences you can only find at Pandora. One that I'm particularly excited for is the Banshee Connect Experience! Inside Windtraders, there will be an area of banshees perched along the wall. These banshees will be interactive and connect with the guests. You'll be able to purchase your very own to keep as a souvenir!

If you're a night owl and want to avoid some of the crowds, take advantage of the extra magic hours available from 11pm - 1am starting May 27th through July 4th.

Can't make it to Disney World this weekend? Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming the official opening at 9:25am Eastern!

We're SO excited to visit Pandora and can't wait to share our experience with you. Be sure to follow us on Instagram @wishesandcoapparel and subscribe to stay up-to-date!