Rikki’s Mouse Bites – Walt Disney World News 3/2/15

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean will see a lengthy refurbishment this summer. The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed from May 11 through September 25, reopening September 26. This is being done to address some ride system issues that are causing massive problems.
  • The dates for the 2015 Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Parties have been announced. Tickets will go on sale in April and ticket pricing has not yet been released. Dates are:
    • September 15, 18, 20, 22, 25, 27
    • October 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25, 27, 29, 31
    • November 1
  • Dates for the 2015 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party have been released. Tickets will go on sale in April and ticket pricing has not yet been released. The party dates are
    • November 8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29
    • December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18
  • The first phase of the Magic Kingdom’s Hub expansion has opened to Guests. With this new expansion, we see additional seating outside Casey’s Corner and The Plaza Restaurant, new walkways, new “grass”, new fountains, and more. In addition, a new FastPass+ preferred viewing area for Wishes fireworks spectacular has opened, adjacent to The Crystal Palace. The Rose Garden FastPass+ viewing area is no longer being used.
  • For those of you looking for the Disney Parks Collection of the PANDORA jewelry line, you can now visit a dedicated space in Uptown Jewelers on Main Street U.S.A.
  • The smoking section that was located behind Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland has been eliminated.  Guests wishing to smoke should head to smoking sections found in Adventureland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and Storybook Circus. See a map for exact locations.
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios will see two refurbishments.  Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show will be closed for a refurbishment from April 20-24, reopening April 25. In addition, Voyage of the Little Mermaid will be closed September 7-10, reopening September 11.
  • The dates have been released for the 2016 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival.  They are March 2 through May 15.
  • The Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt will be returning to World Showcase.  For $4.95, guests can purchase a special map that includes stickers that correspond to the actual eggs that can be found in each of the the parks.  Guests must search the park and put the character egg sticker on the map where the actual character egg was found. Once all the eggs have been located, guests must return their map to the redemption station for a prize.  Maps may be purchased at Heritage Manor Gifts, Pin Central, Port of Entry, and World Traveler. The redemption location is at Port of Entry.  Guests will have until April 30 to redeem their prize.
  • On March 5, guests can head to Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to learn about amphibians and conservation with the “Spring Forward” special event. Guests can learn how to help make frogs, toads, and more flourish in the wild.
  • Reminder, beginning on March 8, Tusker House becomes a character meal at dinner. Guests can meet their favorites including Donald and Daisy.  Donald’s Safari Dinner will begin at 4:00 p.m. daily.
  • Planet Hollywood will be seeing a re-design with the Disney Springs refurbishment. The restaurant will be called Planet Hollywood Observatory and it will receive a new facade, featuring  a gorgeous new brick exterior, a new water tower (built from the neon sign that is currently present), and an expanded outdoor terrace and bar. Inside there will be a high-tech planetarium with stars and constellations on the ceiling, as well as Hollywood props and costumes and Hollywood movie features shown. In addition, a new menu created by celebrity chefs will be introduced.
  • Havaianas, a shoe store, has opened at Downtown Disney.
  • The Village Causeway recently opened, as well as a few new kiosks. They include:
    • Kate and Leo:  a charming cart features children’s toys, travel games, magnetic story boards, beautiful art supplies and more,
    • Icon Jewellery by Bico: Offers jewelry for men and women, featuring iconic and inspirational designs focusing on concepts like love, protection, strength, and luck.
    • Flour and Sugar: This shop offers fresh-baked, all-natural gourmet cookies with Florida flavors like coconut, key lime, strawberry and more.
    • Florida Bath Company: Specializes in unique, Florida-themed bath products such as bath bombs, salts and soaps, made with home-grown ingredients including organic vegetable juices and essential citrus oils.
  • At the Marketplace Co-Op, the WonderGround Gallery, which sells unique artwork, will be moving into a spot being vacated by the Beautifully Disney makeup location. In addition, The Sign Shop, which will offer Disney Parks-inspired signs for sale, will take the place of the WonderGround Gallery’s former space.
  • For the Easter week, 1900 Park Fare will be offering a special brunch buffet from March 29 through April 5. Menu items will include breakfast and dinner options, however, there will be no characters available for guests to meet at this meal, unlike the other two options served at 1900 Park Fare. Guests with brunch reservations should be directed to the podium at Grand Floridian Cafe to check in. All Guests interested in this option should check in with the Grand Floridian Cafe or Concierge desks for reservations.


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