As Disney leaders seem to do, they're rolling out new merchandise next month to mark the closing of the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
The merchandise, shared in a tweet from @DisneyParks, includes T-shirts, a hat and an annual passholder ornament.
The trend of swan song merchandise isn't new for Disney, as it was most recently seen at Magic Kingdom to mark the closing of Wishes, the longtime fireworks spectacular that was replaced with Happily Ever After. Merchandise for that also included shirts, a hat, an AP ornament and a tumbler.
Disney hasn't released prices for the Great Movie Ride items, but you can expect the usual range of $13 (for the ornament) to close to $30 for the shirts. According to Disney, the items will be for sale in park later this week and on the Disney Parks online store Aug. 10.
The Great Movie Ride will close Aug. 13 and will be replaced by Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, the first-ever ride based on Disney's most famous characters. News of the change was announced earlier this month at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif.
Sometimes you want Disney without actually going to Walt Disney World.
As Sunday was the last day of the Christmas in July special event at Disney Springs, I opted to get my mouse fix by heading there. Unfortunately, it is July and in Florida that can mean big storms.
I was there about an hour before the worst of the monsoon rolled through (I'm talking a near white out!), just enough time to grab a bite at The Polite Pig and a quick look at some of the latest swag available for purchase.
This is just a sampling of some of my favorites pictures from the quick visit:
In the ultimate case of irony, Wild Florida has decided to name its new baby sloth Dash.
To help Wild Florida leaders pick a name for the little boy sloth, a naming contest was opened to the public and several prizes were up for grabs, including a free lunch, meeting the newborn and his mom, Ana, and a 1-hour airboat ride for the winner and a guest.
A similar naming contest for Dash's older brother, George, was held last year. George was the park's first baby two-toed sloth, said Wild Florida.
For the sake of transparency, it should be known that I submitted the name Rufio, paying homage to everyone's favorite Lost Boy from Disney's film adaptation of "Hook."
Wild Florida, who announced the winning name in an email to contest participants on Wednesday, said they had 1,200 names submitted.
Ultimately, they picked Dash, a name so unfitting for how slow sloths are, but so cute that I'm not even mad Rufio didn't win the selection.
Wild Florida was kind enough to let participants down gently with a coupon for a free ice cream cone.
Additionally, the Kenansville park reminded folks they're celebrating seven years in operation buy giving EVERYONE free admission to the gator park through Dec. 31. No, seriously. Admission is free, but animal encounters can still be booked online.
More information about Wild Florida can be found at the destination's website www.wildfloridaairboats.com
Disney Imagineer Marty Sklar, best known for bringing the company's theme parks to life, died Thursday. He was 83.
“Everything about Marty was legendary – his achievements, his spirit, his career,” said Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “He embodied the very best of Disney, from his bold originality to his joyful optimism and relentless drive for excellence. He was also a powerful connection to Walt himself. No one was more passionate about Disney than Marty and we’ll miss his enthusiasm, his grace, and his indomitable spirit.”
Sklar, who was named a Disney Legend in 2001, was first hired by Disney in 1955 to create The Disneyland News for Walt's newest theme park. He joined the company full-time just the next year and found himself locking in step with Walt himself. Sklar would go one to write speeches, marketing materials and creating a film that showcased Walt's vision for Walt Disney World and Epcot.
His career encompassed three decades as the creative leader of Imagineering and he led development of Disney theme parks and attractions, according to the Disney Parks Blog.
Legendary Disney Imagineer Martin A. “Marty” Sklar passed away in his Hollywood Hills home on Thursday. He was 83. During an illustrious career spanning 54 years, Marty worked closely with Walt Disney and was instrumental in creating, enhancing and expanding Disney’s creative vision. Named a Disney Legend in 2001, he is best remembered and revered by fans around the world for his work bringing Disney’s theme parks to life.
“Marty was the ultimate Disney Imagineer and Cast Member. From his days working as an intern with Walt to just two weeks ago engaging with fans at D23 Expo, Marty left an indelible mark on Disney Parks around the globe and on all of the guests who make memories every day with us,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “He was one of the few people that was fortunate to attend the opening of every single Disney park in the world, from Anaheim in 1955 to Shanghai just last year. We will dearly miss Marty’s passion, skill and imaginative spark that inspired generations of Cast, Crew and Imagineers.”
According to the Disney Parks Blog, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Marty’s name to Ryman Arts at www.rymanarts.org.
As previously announced at D23, Mission: Space is scheduled to reopen next month after a refurbishment project took it offline earlier this year.
According to the Disney Parks Blog, the polarizing ride (it seems you either love it or hate it) will reopen Aug. 13. Disney leaders announced at the official Disney fan convention the update calls for a much gentler Green track a tad more suitable for families and young riders.
Here's how Disney describes the updated ride:
Orange Mission: For a truly intense experience that lets you feel the force of an actual space launch en route to Mars. On this mission, you’ll dodge meteoroids, slingshot around the moon and attempt a precision landing on the Red Planet’s alien surface. This “mission” has been enhanced with new, HD video to make it even clearer – I can’t imagine!
Green Mission: A new mission that takes you on an exciting orbit around Earth. On this amazing new adventure, you’ll take in sites like the Hawaiian Islands, Italy’s “boot” and the Northern Lights—as seen from space, of course—before finally landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. No matter which mission you choose, it’ll be a journey that’s totally out of this world.
Additionally, the height restriction for the Green Mission has changed with the addition of new X-2 booster seats allowing children 40-44” to ride.
What do you think of the ride updates? Get social with Orlando Everyday on Twitter (@CaitlinDineen) and Facebook (@OrlandoEveryday)
The Mouse House really wants your Walt Disney World vacation to be even smoother and is now offering online check-in through the My Disney Experience app for resort guests.
Guests staying at Disney resort hotels can expedite their arrival and start the check-in process up to 60 days before their vacation, according to the Disney Parks Blog. This check-in means guests can skip the front desk and simply unlock their room, when it's ready, using the MagicBands sent to them when the booked the hotel.
Additionally, guests can make room requests, add credit card information and authorize changes, submit estimated arrival times and receive notifications all through the app.
For those unfamiliar, the My Disney Experience app is the digital platform for all park guests that shares all park news and information in real time. Users can make FastPass+ reservations, select dining options and, most recently, have been able to mobile order at select restaurants around the property.
The app is literally keys to the kingdom when it comes to planning a Disney vacation from your mobile device.
Nearly two years after announcing the project, developers for the Margaritaville Resort Orlando are holding a groundbreaking ceremony this morning for the project's 187-room hotel.
The project, which has already garnered serious buzz from Jimmy Buffett fans and Central Florida vacationers, has been promised to deliver a new level of chill to the Orlando vacation scene.
The $750 million, 300-acre development, led by Jim Bagley and the team at Encore, will feature 1,000 residential units, including a mix of vacation rental homes and timeshare units. The entire project also calls for a dining and entertainment district, swimming areas, a 12-acre water park, 200,000 square feet of retail and a variety of recreational activities.
The resort will be located on U.S. 192 in Kissimmee, just south of Disney's Animal Kingdom.
The first phase of construction is expected to open in 2018 with other phases opening over time.
Earlier this month, Bagley and his team announced a partnership with furniture company Ethan Allen to offer exclusive furnishing packages that bring even more of Buffett's signature mellow vibes into the vacation-rental homes there.
Baseline Tap House, a new pub, is coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios this fall.
The park's new Grand Avenue area is being re-imagined by Imagineers to look like present-day Downtown Los Angeles, according to the Disney Parks Blog. Once complete, the area will have "vintage office buildings and warehouses representing the different vibrant districts and cultures of the city."
Baseline Tap House's menu will feature California craft ales, lagers and cider. Specialty cocktails and California wines will also be for sale.
For the under-21 crowd, Baseline will have lemonade and soda available, according to Disney.
No tap house is complete without small bites and Disney's selection includes a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue (mega yum!), spiced almonds and a charcuterie board with California cheeses.
No opening date has been released, but the new space will open daily at 11 a.m.
The 10 original dresses to be sold at The Dress Shop at Cherry Tree Lane, plus a new Cinderella-inspired one, are back this Thursday.
The original dresses gave nod to some of Disney's classic attractions and characters like Orange Bird, the Haunted Mansion and Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room. The collection was first introduced in spring and was nearly impossible to keep on the racks, with guests lining up for hours hoping to find their size.
A new dress, a stunning Cinderella blue with sheer cap sleeves, is fit for a princess and accented with metallic embroidery, according to the Disney Parks Blog.
David Soliman, area manager for merchandise presentation at Disney Springs, told the Disney Parks Blog team the collection reflects mid-century style and the shop was designed to showcase that.
"The best example is the hatbox-inspired platform that greets guests at the entrance," said Soliman. "It’s a striking visual that pulls people into the location."
If you're hoping to nab one of the originals, or even the newest addition, we recommend you arrive at Disney Springs prior to the store opening.
Disney leaders have filed paperwork with the South Florida Water Management District for their planned expansion of Coronado Springs Resort.
The expansion, which was first announced in February, means the Disney property will get a new 15-story hotel tower that will add 500 rooms. The tower will feature suites and concierge level services, according to Disney leaders.
According to diagrams filed with the water management district, the tower looks as though it will be just near the resort's convention center. It will overlook Lago Dorado, the resort's centerpiece lake, giving guests new rooftop dining option and firework views.
Plans filed also show the framework for the new floating gardens and planned "island oasis" that will connect the resort through a series of bridges. Documents indicate a new restaurant, located in the center of Lago Dorado, may be among the new amenities constructed in the next two years.
The entire project area is just about 21 acres big, according to documents filed.
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