Hello everyone, so sorry for the lack of posts last week. The holidays are getting the best of me, or at least me time! Here’s your Disney news for this week.
The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will be undergoing refurbishment starting in January 2017 through fall of 2017. The Renovations will include updates to the rooms, the pools, and poolside cabanas, the Great Hall Lobby, and the Craftsman’s Club concierge lounge as well. To minimize disruptions construction, or any updates that may create noise will not start before 9 am. While the pools at the Grand Californian Hotel are down, guests are welcome to use the pools at both the Disneyland and Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotels. All construction dates are subject to change.
Disney’s California Adventure Park
The Lunar New Year Celebration at DCA expands to 17 days starting on January 20 – February 5, 2017. The Lunar New Year traditionally celebrated within Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures, memorialize the point when both the sun and the moon start their course for another year. Some significant parts of the party at DCA include:
- Three new Asian marketplaces are offering foods inspired by Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese cultures.
- Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Mulan, and Mushu, dressed in their best to celebrate Lunar New Year.
- Incredible entertainment throughout the Paradise Garden area, including a troupe of Chinese acrobats and a variety of authentic musicians and performers.
- A new six-minute pre-show called “Hurry Home” will début before “World Of Color” each night during the celebration. This animation is presented in water— like “World Of Color” and will feature Mulan and Mushu inspired by traditional Chinese paper cut-out style animation.
Back in 2012 when Be Our Guest restaurant opened in the Magic Kingdom it came with a huge controversy amongst Disney fans when they broke Walt Disney’s long-standing wishes to keep the Magic Kingdom alcohol free. The French restaurant had argued that it would lose it’s integrity if it didn’t feature a wine list at the very least. Well, here we are four years later, and it was announced over the weekend that alcoholic beverages would be making their way to the menus of Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, and Cinderella’s Royal Table. I imagine there are some pretty upset Disney fans, and I also imagine some pretty happy ones too.
Disney has added an Express Transportation option for guests staying on property. Depending on the time of year you visit it can be a real struggle using Disney’s complimentary transportation, there is often long lines in the mornings to get to the parks and again at night when you are exhausted and just want to get back to the hotel. It can be especially inconveniencing when you are traveling with an ECV since each Disney bus can only take two ECV’s or wheelchairs at a time. Families can waste a lot of time trying to get a spot on a bus when a family member needs a space for their ECV. This new nonstop bus service option departs approximately every 30 minutes and is available each day from 10 am until park closings. Besides being more of a direct route, this option also gets you into the main gate area. So instead of entering through the main entrance you will use different entrances and avoid the bottleneck lines altogether. The Express Transportation ticket is offered to guests with valid Park Hopper admission and Annual Passholders. Prices for guests ages 3+ is $15 for a single day ticket or $24 for a multi-day ticket. You can purchase this option at the following locations:
- All four theme park ticket windows and Guest Relations
- Disney Springs ticket window
- Disney Resort hotel concierge locations
- Walt Disney World Swan Hotel and Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel ticket desks
- Kiosks at Express Transportation check-in locations
Disney Gift Cards have gone digital. Just in time for the holiday’s you can purchase Disney gift cards online and they will be available as an egift on the same day they are ordered. The egift cards can be redeemed anywhere Disney Gift Cards are accepted by scanning the email opened on your phone.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story had a pretty successful opening weekend at the box office. Bringing in $155M domestically and $323M worldwide making it the third largest opening of the year. It is the second December opening to break over $100M— the first being The Force Awakens in 2015. The opening this weekend helped Disney to become the first studio to cross the $7B mark in ticket sales at the global box office. Disney has released the top four grossing films of 2016 so far including Marvel’s Captain America Civil War, Pixar’s Finding Dory, Disney Animation’s Zootopia, and Disney Studio’s The Jungle Book; I think it is safe to bet that Lucas Films will make that list as well for the year.
I saved the best news for last. Dick Van Dyke has officially announced that he will be making an appearance in the new Marry Popping movie slated for a release date of Christmas 2018! Here’s a cute video of songwriter Richard Sherman paying tribute to Walt Disney with an exclusive performance of “Feed the Birds” from Mary Poppins.
Thank you so much for continuing to read the Disney articles posted each week. This will be the post of 2016. I will be back again in late January posting the news and featured blogs on a weekly basis. In the mean time I will be available for any trip planning so please don’t hesitate to contact me, I would love to plan your next Disney vacation for you! I hope you all have warm, safe, and happy holidays!
“See you real soon!”