Rikki’s Mouse Bites – Walt Disney World News 11/23/15

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  • Beginning January 5, additional Star Wars elements will be added to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests may come face to face with First Order Stormtroopers who will patrol various areas. Each night, Guests will be treated to “Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular,” a dazzling Star Wars-themed fireworks show set to memorable Star Wars music from throughout the saga. Additionally, Guests will soon be able to purchase admission to a dessert party during the fireworks show featuring themed desserts, specialty drinks and a souvenir Chewbacca stein.
  • Each evening, Guests will gather along the edge of the Discovery River for the new immersive nighttime experience, “Rivers of Light,” where an ancient, timeless show will come to life before their eyes. Nearby on Discovery Island, the Tree of Life will undergo an awakening as the animal spirits of the Tree are brought to light by magical fireflies. Check out this video of Imagineer Joe Rhode discussing the project.

  • A new signature table service restaurant called Tiffins will open on Discovery Island at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The restaurant will celebrate the art of traveling and will feature a diverse menu drawing from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It will be open for both lunch and dinner and will also include waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas. The restaurant’s opening in the spring of 2016.
  • On December 8, the Riverside Depot merchandise location will open and will be themed to the animals discovered in and around rivers.
  • Beginning November 25, Guests can select Flights of Wonder as one of their three FastPass+ experiences.  Flights of Wonder uniquely combines live animals and conservation messages with a little humor.
  • Starting November 23, Epcot Guests can purchase Made With Magic products, such as the Mickey Ear Hat, Minnie Mouse Headband, Mickey Mouse Glove and the Sorcerer Mickey Wand. Each Made with Magic product is programmed to light up at key moments around World Showcase.  Guests will be able to purchase Made with Magic products at the following locations: Gateway Gifts, kiosk outside of Disney Traders, Pin Central, Mouse Gear, Village Traders, American Adventure Cart, International Gateway and Canada Cart. All products cost $25.
  • Beginning details have been announced for the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival. This will be the 23rd year for the event which will take place for an unprecedented 90 days, from March 2 through May 30. So, what’s new for 2016, we’ll see a brand new front entrance topiary display featuring Donald Duck’s nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, alongside their Uncle Donald and Daisy in a display inspired by the 1943 comic book, “The Victory Garden.”  Also on display will be the Ranger Mickey topiary which will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.  Located behind Spaceship Earth will be a new Floral Sun Garden which will feature golden colors and yellow “sunbursts.” At night, twinkling lights will shine.  There will be an innovative new play garden featuring the Fab 5, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Donald, in topiary form with musical instruments built into the outdoor climbing system.
  • The World of Disney has been expanded to 6,000-foot expansion includes wider aisles, centralized check-out locations, three additional rooms, updated merchandise displays and ceiling murals with classic Disney and Pixar characters.
  • Special Thanksgiving hours are available at select restaurants at Walt Disney World.  Chef Mickey’s and The Wave…of American Flavors will be serving dinner at 12:30 p.m.
  • At Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, starting the hours for the pool bars and grills have changed. The new hours are:  Beaches Pool Grill 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Beaches Pool Bar 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Courtyard Pool Bar      11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.
  • This year Guests can ring in the New Year with the Countdown to Midnight event at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort. The event will include a cocktail of choice in hand, enjoy a reunion at the “Adventure Club,” then hop over to a dance party with a nine-piece live band, or take a spin at “Club Vinyl,” and celebrate the golden age of music with a modern twist. The party will include an all-you-can-enjoy menu and beverage reception and a balloon drop.  Countdown to Midnight will take place from 8:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m. and cost $300 (tax and gratuity included). Transportation will be provided to Guests staying at select Walt Disney World resorts.

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