Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 19-25, 2018

Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 19-25, 2018

Walt Disney World Resort Update for June 19–25, 2018

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Writer’s note: As we expected, it was a quiet week for news at Walt Disney World Resort this week. This, however, seems to be the proverbial calm before the storm. Next up, we have the last major piece of Incredible Summer limited-time entertainment, Disney H20 Glow Nights (hard ticket events) at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, which debuts June 21. We have been invited to cover it, so be sure to follow @MousePlanet on social media Thursday night, particularly between 8-10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time for some “Partysaurus Rex” fun (weather and technology cooperation required too).

Then, next Thursday and Friday, June 28-29, we will be covering the dedication ceremonies and the rest of the Resort’s big celebration for the June 30 opening of Toy Story Land. Cast member-only previews are finally underway, at least, for Slinky Dog Dash Coaster. Perhaps an opportunity will arise before our next Update to get a ride or peek too, but, of course, soft openings are never guaranteed, and, as we reported last week, with the announced “exclusive” time going to Gold-and-above Passholders in September, it is looking very unlikely there will be anything “official.”

Cast member previews of the Slinky Dog Dash roller coaster are under way in Toy Story Land, so far, with very strict restrictions prohibiting guests and photographs. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Outside the Toy Story Land construction walls, Disney PhotoPass photographers on hand allowed all park-goers to pose with a paddle displaying a familiar ball. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

As the parenthetical in the first paragraph suggests, it is the time of year where the only weather certainty here in Central Florida is that it will be hot and it will probably rain at some point somewhere in the region. If you are visiting the Resort and are not used to spending hours in the heat and humidity (like we locals who walk 5-10 miles nearly everyday outside for exercise and/or fun), remember to stay hydrated and take advantage of some air conditioned breaks. Bring along your ponchos, and consider having an umbrella handy too. Is it time to review some of those One Passholder’s Tips from last spring and summer?

It is the rainy season in Central Florida, so having rain gear handy during the day may be helpful. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

News and Views

More My Disney Experience Enhancements Released | Walt Disney World Golf Enhancements Continue | MouseAdventure Returns in November | Epcot Concert & Candlelight Processional News & Calendar | Views Around the World | This and That | Crowd Forecast

More My Disney Experience Enhancements Released

Yesterday, Walt Disney World unveiled the latest version of its My Disney Experience mobile app. The new version features a revised user interface and at least one new feature: estimated bus times for Disney resort hotel guests.

To view the latest user interface and features, download the latest update to the My Disney Experience app in the App Store or Google Play. Screen by Alan S. Dalinka (underlying content by Disney).

Like the video screens at the bus stops at some Disney Resort hotel locations that show the estimated times for buses to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs, guests with an “active” Disney Resort hotel reservation in their My Disney Experience account can now access “See Bus Times” when viewing their reservation in the app. The app will update “in real time” to provide an estimate for when the next buses will depart a hotel and, unlike the existing video screens, it will show an estimated time that the bus will complete its journey to its destination.

Disney resort hotel guests can now get estimated times buses will depart from their hotel when viewing their active hotel reservation in the My Disney Experience app. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Parks Blog posted a brief demonstration of the new “See Bus Times” feature.” Video © Disney.

While the demonstration video Disney Parks Blog posted shows that the feature allows you to check departure times for each stop at a hotel with multiple stops (like those stops at Disney’s Old Key West Resort), there is no indication of when (or whether) this feature will be expanded to all guests visiting the Resort, or to estimated departure times from the parks and Disney Springs. As we do not have an active hotel reservation, we have not been able to try the new feature. Disney Parks Blog does say that Disney’s “teams are constantly exploring and innovating new enhancements to My Disney Experience,” and that “there’s more coming soon!”

Walt Disney World Golf Enhancements Continue

Walt Disney World Golf operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management continues the enhancement of the Resort’s golf courses. The Magnolia course was enhanced in 2015. The Palm course just completed its regular aeration process and is scheduled to have re-opened as of this posting.

Lake Buena Vista and Oak Trail will soon add Mickey-shaped bunkers similar to the one on No. 6 on the Magnolia course. The schedules below are subject to change due to weather and other factors; call Disney Golf at (407)939-4653 for the latest information and tee times.

  • The Lake Buena Vista course is scheduled to undergo its regular course aeration through August 10, and during that time the course will receive complete bunker renovations, including bunker reshaping, re-sodding of the bunker faces, improved drainage, and replacement of the old grey sand with new white sand. From July 2 to August 10, the course will operate as a 9-hole course on a rotating basis while the other nine holes undergo refurbishments. During the project, 9-hole play will be available for $26 plus tax; 18-hole play (two rounds on the open 9-holes) will be $39 plus tax; “twilight” play (after 3 p.m.) will be available for $19/$29 plus tax.
  • Starting June 25 and scheduled through August 10, the Oak Trail course’s greens will all be replaced with a Paspalum grass, a surface which has never perviously been used for putting at Walt Disney World before. The greens will also be restored to their original dimensions. As reader Kevin O’Donnell notified us and we reported a couple weeks ago,Platinum Plus Annual Passholders will be accommodated at the Lake Buena Vista course during the refurbishment; FootGolf will continue to be available at Oak Trail during the greens replacement project.

MouseAdventure Returns in November

MousePlanet is media sponsor of MouseAdventure.

The players asked, and Third Gate Games listened: MouseAdventure will be returning to the Walt Disney World Resort later this year!

Save the date for November 10 at Epcot, when Third Gate Games will return for MouseAdventure Remix, a collection of quests from previous games—along with a few more surprises. The creators scoured the archives from early events at Epcot and have brought them up to date with some different spins that are sure to challenge veterans as well as new players.

Registration opens on August 28 at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) at mouseadventure.com, so get your squad together for some fall fun in Florida!

For more information on MouseAdventure, read the article on the Walt Disney World spring 2018 event MouseAdventure Tails, here on media sponsor MousePlanet, or visit the MouseAdventure website.

Epcot Concert & Candlelight Processional News & Calendar

Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live! concert series runs daily through August 19 (with published showtimes at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 8 p.m.) at the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival’s Eat to the Beat concert series starts August 30 and runs through November 12. Guests can book Eat to the Beat dining packages, as well as other Food and Wine Festival events like Party for the Senses, seminars, and more by visiting TasteEpcot.com or calling (407) 939-3378 for reservations and information.

America Gardens Theatre is the Incredible Summer home to the Guardians of the Galaxy-Awesome Mix Live concert series, five times daily through August 19. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Festival of the Holidays returns to Epcot on November 18, and its Candlelight Processional begins its seasonal run this year on Thanksgiving Day itself, November 22. Narrators for the three-times-nightly retelling of the traditional Christmas story accompanied by a massed choir and live orchestra have not yet been announced, and dining package information is not yet available.

The Candlelight Processional will debut at Epcot this year on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, and is scheduled to run three times nightly through December 30. File Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For the convenience of our readers, we list all of the scheduled acts in our Google Calendar of Epcot Events. You can also add it or any events on it to any calendar that supports the iCal format (like iPhone and Mac) by copying this link. When the Candlelight Processional celebrity narrators are announced, we will add the events to our calendar as well.

The calendar is provided as a courtesy “as is, where is” without any guarantees. Given the effort it took to create it, we do respectfully request that you do not post our entire calendar on another site without first asking our permission. Walt Disney World Resort does provide schedules in the My Disney Experience app, but does not allow you to add dates to calendars outside the app itself.

Views Around the World

In this week’s Views, we start with more photos of the vertical construction of the new Guardians of the Galaxy-themed coaster, and then look at the Disney Transportation between Epcot, the neighboring Epcot resorts, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios (including views of Disney Skyliner construction), before getting over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The captions tell the story and include bits of news along the way.


The skyline at the northeastern edge of Epcot continues to evolve with the vertical construction of the building that will contain the future Guardians of the Galaxy-themed roller coaster. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

For perspective, when you enter Epcot from the main parking lot, you are facing south, and the construction for the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction is on the left. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Inside the park, looking north from the walkway from Future World to World Showcase, you can see the monorail glide over the construction site in the distance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From across World Showcase Lagoon, you can get a sense of the scope of the new building. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Speaking of Guardians of the Galaxy, its current representation in the park, Awesome Mix Live!, takes the stage five times daily. When I saw the first public performance earlier this month, some technical difficulties apparently prevented Groot and some other video from appearing during the show (which I was able to see this past week). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On the World Showcase side of the park between Morocco and France, the future “Ratatouille”-themed attraction continues to take shape. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Along the Promenade at Canada, the carved bears installed at the start of the Flower and Garden Festival may be a permanent addition to the area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Almost all other traces of this year’s Flower and Garden Festival are no longer visible in the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

“Wall-E” themed ears are on shelves this week at Mouse Gear. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

And, finally, “I’m a Nervous Rex!” t-shirts are but the tip of the Toy Story-themed items you will find around the Resort (even beyond Disney’s Hollywood Studios), including at Mouse Gear. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Epcot Resorts Area: Disney Skyliner & Disney Transport

Friendship boats continue to operate only between Epcot’s International Gateway (just behind the boat here), Disney’s BoardWalk, and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. The construction wall below the tree-line surrounds the Epcot Disney Skyliner station construction site. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The sign at the Yacht & Beach Club Resort’s boat dock informs guests that there is no service to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Refurbishment continues at the bridge between Disney’s BoardWalk and the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, which means that boat service is unavailable from the Epcot Resorts to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

It is still possible to walk from Disney’s BoardWalk to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A sidewalk on Buena Vista Drive connects to that path and also provides a view of the future Disney Skyliner turn toward Epcot in front of Disney’s BoardWalk. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

According to the maps posted on some of the Disney Skyliner construction walls, fences, and online, Disney Skyliner will depart Epcot from the International Gateway (near the Eiffel Tower in this photo) toward this point next to Buena Vista Drive and then turn East to travel mostly parallel to the street to approach the station at Disney’s Riviera Resort (the under-construction Disney Vacation Club tower under construction near Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The Disney Skyliner station on the other side of Buena Vista Drive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not directly connected to the station at Epcot (guests will have to pass through the station at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and, we believe, change “buckets” there). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

The roof recently was installed on the Disney Skyliner station at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. While its shape looks like the concept art on the fence, its Pan Pacific-like color looks more like other architectural details shown for the station (and, generally, the entrance of the park). Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

From the Disney Skyliner station here, the towers lead in the distance to the station under construction at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Signs at Disney’s Hollywood Studios direct guests to bus transportation to the Epcot resorts usually served by the Friendship boats. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Skyliner towers in the Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot stand in contrast to the Hollywood Tower Hotel (Tower of Terror) in the distance. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Meanwhile, in another part of the Disney’s Hollywood Studios parking lot, it appears that a new toll plaza is under construction that may connect with the new ramps under construction along Osceola Parkway near the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Disney has not specifically announced the traffic pattern changes to come to this park as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’s opening approaches late next year. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Inside the park, the latest detail added to the kiosk just beyond the Toy Story Land construction wall next to Walt Disney Presents appears to be the Disney Vacation Club logo version of Mickey’s head. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

At the far end of Pixar Place, trees and a berm now largely prevent a view of all but the highest peaks of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction area. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Over on the other side of the park, hedge fences now surround a large area near Echo Lake (requiring a detour to get from the Hyperion Theatre to Star Tours) where cast members say concrete repair work is underway. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Beyond the closed walkways, and like the Pixar Place side of the park, trees now largely obscure the view of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction area at the end of Grand Avenue. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Nearly all of the attraction building in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge behind MuppetVision 3D is now enclosed. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Speaking of Star Wars, with the opening of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” last month, a new movie now shows in the theater at Star Wars Launch Bay that includes Director Ron Howard talking about the film and Star Wars in general. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Star Wars Launch Bay also now has an exhibit of props related to “Solo.” Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

On Sunset Boulevard, the Sunset Ranch Market is open during refurbishment of its iconic sign. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Sunset Ranch Market refurbishment does not seem to effect any of the food or merchandise operations in this area of the park. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Finally, a “33” logo now adorns this button that seems to be a clue that the new private members-only club coming to the space above the Hollywood Brown Derby will have a name familiar to those aware of Disneyland’s Club 33 in Anaheim. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney Springs

Disney-Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” is now the theme for the photo backdrop outside the AMC Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theatres. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

Back at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, refurbishment is underway on the side of the resort closest to Epcot’s International Gateway, temporarily closing the gate that Disney Vacation Club members (like me) often use as a shortcut to the Beach Club Villas. Photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

This and That

…A reminder from last week: Passholders looking to get their summer-themed Donald Duck complimentary gift magnet will now find them at Mouse Gear in Future World at Epcot through June 29, rather than Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Be sure to have a valid photo ID matching your Annual Pass.

Donald Duck passholder magnets are no longer available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They are now available at Mouse Gear at Epcot through June 29. File photo by Alan S. Dalinka.

…A poster on a Disney Bus advertising Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, the hyper-reality experience at The Void at Disney Springs, says that if you say “The VOID” at checkout, you will receive a free digital photo of your mission with your ticket purchase.

…For those looking for more up to date information on the merchandise coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios with the June 30 opening of Toy Story Land, View image on Twitter

Disney Parks


Thanks to Incredibles 2, the world has once again embraced Supers, so in honor of those heroes, Magic Kingdom Park is hosting the first ever Incredible Tomorrowland Expo:

…Disney Parks Blog also shared photos of the new Grevy’s zebra foals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

View image on Twitter

Help us give a warm welcome to Youka and Zalika, two of the newest Grevy’s zebra foals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

…Tickets are still available for this Sunday’s “Pigs & Pints” event at Disney Springs featuring a mix of Pan-Asian and Southern-inspired dishes from the combined forces of Morimoto Asia’s Chef Yuhi Fajinaga and The Polite Pig’s James and Julie Petrakis. Guests 21-and-up can also enjoy local craft brews. For tickets and more information about the event, Sunday, June 24 from noon to 3 p.m., visit this page of Patina Restaurant Group’s website.

…The MousePlanet Newsletter is here! The newsletter contains a recap of the week’s articles (in case you miss a day), news that may have developed since the weekly Updates were published, and tips about what’s happening at the Disney theme parks for the coming weekend. We’ll also include a fun bonus, such as an Eye Spy or a trivia question. To subscribe to our free newsletter, just enter your email in the box below.

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