It’s our weekly round-up of all the Disney Parks news to come out within the past 7 days! No rumours or hearsay…just good old-fashioned official Disney announcements (and our personal commentary), broken down into bite-sized pieces so you can get all of the important info right at your fingertips. So, without further ado, please enjoy the September 16th, 2019 edition of New Week, New Dis!
Let’s get this worldwide story out, right off the bat. This week, the newest Disney signature colour debuted in every one of the Disney Parks. Personally, it’s my favourite so far, though I’m admittedly a terrible judge of colours. Lauren picked up ears in Arendelle Aqua this week and had the most covetous of glances sent her way as guests and cast members alike were already planning their future purchase of something in this colour line. Along with the merchandise, exclusive treats popped up around the parks as well with cookies, churros, and even soft-serve started sporting the Arendelle Aqua!
Add this colour to the growing list of signature colours Disney has amassed in the past few years:
- Briar Rose Gold
- Potion Purple
- Imagination Pink
- Magic Mirror Metallic
- And now Arendelle Aqua
I’m not a betting man, but if the next colour comes out as some sort of Enchanted Emerald Green, I’ll look like a genius.
Now onto the other news:
Walt Disney World
Beauty and the Beast Lounge Details
We have a name! “Enchanted Rose” will open this Fall at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The reimagined lounge on the 2nd floor above the lobby will be home to four unique spaces inspired by Belle and the Beast.
The main focal point in the lounge will be an enormous chandelier inspired by Belle’s signature golden yellow ball gown. The other 3 spaces will be a garden room (based on the enchanted forest around the castle), an outdoor patio and a library.
If you’re expecting a heavy influence of the classic animated Beauty and the Beast, this lounge will offer a much more subtle approach. You’ll see nods to the theming and inspiration derived from the movies, both live action and animated, but you won’t see Lumiere in the corner. Instead, this elegant lounge will offer signature menu items, and more exclusive cocktails that drive the theme home.
I’m not sure if the fans of classic Beauty and the Beast will be disappointed in this interpretation of the theming. There was a moment when the reimagining was announced, that we thought there might possibly be another spot to get our Beauty and the Beast fill, without struggling to find a Be Our Guest reservation. That being said, I still think the subtle theme and overall elegance will make this a great place to relax…just know that it’s nowhere near the immersion of Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom.
More Walt Disney Transportation Bus Wraps
If you have been lucky enough to visit Walt Disney World recently, you may have noticed a few new buses driving around, featuring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto. Well, Disney is rolling out additional new designs to be wrapped around the resort buses.
The Lion King, Monsters Inc., Moana and even Frozen are all getting the bus treatment, with beautiful new designs soon to be seen on the streets of Walt Disney World. Of course, these new looks also come with a new bus inside. New blue seats and laminate flooring make the new buses sleek and current, especially with the addition of USB charging ports for your devices.
We just returned from the Most Magical Place on Earth and I have to say, the new buses are a surprising sight for sore eyes. I never had a problem with the old buses, but as I’ve learned, it’s because we didn’t know what we could be having. The new buses are so whimsical and likely will add a splash of creativity to your trip to the parks. The insides still have that new bus smell! Plus, for someone who’s phone inexplicably loses all of its battery power while visiting the parks, the charging ports will be critical for park hopping or an evening jaunt to Disney Springs.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride Vehicles Revealed
When the attraction was discussed at D23 this year, it was confirmed that this roller coaster will also feature cars that spin a full 360° to give guests a view of the action. It’s also going to be Disney’s first “reverse-launch” coaster! We don’t know much more about the plot or the focal points of the ride, but Walt Disney Imagineering did release a photo (and a seriously overly epic video) of the ride vehicles.
I love the colour scheme and the motion, but it has to be said that I think the only reason we’re getting this announcement as “news” is because someone posted a picture online of the vehicles being sent for testing and rather than let someone ruin the surprise, Disney Imagineering got ahead of it by releasing much better photos and the aforementioned overly epic video, which can be seen here if your interest has been piqued!
Animal Kingdom Open for NYE
This New Year’s Eve will mark the first time that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is open until midnight to celebrate the coming of 2020. Now all 4 theme parks will offer guests the opportunity to ring in the new year in their favourite spots.
In Animal Kingdom, DJs will get the party moving in Asia, Discovery Island and DinoLand U.S.A. New Year’s Eve-themed food and drinks will be available throughout the night and as midnight comes close, guests will be invited to the Tree of Life where music and lighting displays will signal the start of 2020.
The Holidays will be a big deal for Animal Kingdom this year as previous news came out about the new additions to the park for the season (check out our New Week, New Dis! from that announcement). I’m glad to see Animal Kingdom offering something for guests on that particular evening.
Magic Kingdom reaches its guest capacity early in the day on New Year’s Eve and by all accounts, Hollywood Studios and Epcot are getting equally busy. Plus, I think there are definitely a group of guests who really identify with Animal Kingdom as their favourite park, so who wouldn’t want to spend a magical midnight in their favourite place?
Plaza de la Familia Returns
Coming back to Disney California Adventure Park is the seasonal celebration Plaza de la Familia. Based on the Pixar film Coco, this event features live performances, arts and crafts activities for the whole family and deliciosa Mexican food.
“A Musical Celebration of Coco” returns with the incredible puppets and storytellers alongside singing host Mateo and his accompaniment the Mariachi Divas. New this year is a mural for guests to take pictures with. “Recuérdame” (“Remember Me”), depicts the themes explored by the Plaza de la Familia storytellers.
Plaza de la Familia runs from September 6th just past Día de los Muertos on November 3rd, 2019.
I love the rich artistic styles evoked through this festival. I honestly think there should be more of a permanent Coco presence in Disneyland California and more of a presence outdoors in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot. Coco has such wonderful themes of family and memories…and that’s such an important reminder as guests travel throughout the parks.
New Pedestrian Bridge between Resort Parking and Downtown Disney
Not so much of a wow factor news piece, but definitely important all the same. Disney has opened their pedestrian bridge over Magic Way on the West side of the Disneyland Resort.
Now guests can either take the resort tram from the Mickey & Friends and Pixar Pals parking structures, or they can walk across the 174-foot (53 metre) bridge, through Downtown Disney and onto the Main Entrance esplanade. All in all, it’s a great addition, giving guests an alternative to waiting for a tram and an opportunity to catch a quick glance of Downtown Disney along the way.
A Marvel Hotel
Announced this week, Disneyland Paris will be opening a brand-new hotel, called “Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel”. With more of an Art Deco approach to the styling, the hotel will have Marvel art at the forefront of all its design. When it opens in Summer 2020, it will be the home to one of the largest public collections of Marvel artwork in the world. All of this adds to the already announced Avengers Campus, set to open in phases in 2021 in the Walt Disney Studios Park. Guests wishing to book a star at Disney’s Hotel New York, can begin November 5th 2019!
I love to see Disney sharing the Marvel Universe around, worldwide. There are several reasons why Disney isn’t going to (or isn’t able to) share the same cast of characters in Florida, but I believe that the likely success of Guardians of the Galaxy in Epcot will give us hope for more in Walt Disney World. In the meantime, you can get your future Avengers kick by booking a trip to the nearest of the 3 destinations opening an Avengers Campus – Disneyland in California, Disneyland Paris, or Hong Kong Disneyland.
Frozen-Themed Land Details
We’ve also known for a while about the Frozen-themed land also coming to Disneyland Paris as a part of the major expansion. This week, we got a glimpse of some of the magic to come!
Firstly, “Frozen: A Musical Invitation” is set to debut Nov 17, 2019. This interactive adventure transports guests to Arendelle to play and interact with their favourite characters over a series of stages.
Secondly, guests will be delighted by a new Frozen show, “Frozen Celebration”. Taking place along the parade route, Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven will be joined with incredible acrobats and dancers, along with a beautiful new float. Taking place 4 times a day, this performance doesn’t replace “Disney Stars on Parade” since many of the Frozen characters will also be featured in the parade on a Frozen-themed float. This is an exclusive event that runs from January 11th to May 3rd, 2020.
This seems like a great way to get guests excited for the Frozen-themed land, but I would certainly hope there are more announcements on the way, specifically in the attraction department.
With a recent announcement at D23 that Hong Kong Disneyland was getting not one, but two Frozen-themed attractions, I can’t help but feel like Disneyland Paris can’t exactly be left in the lurch. Sure, one of the attractions in Hong Kong Disneyland is a duplication of “Frozen Ever After” in Epcot. And sure, the other attraction looks similar (but will likely operate quite differently) to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Paris deserves one or both of these attractions, or my personal preference…an innovative attraction unique to Disneyland Paris…one can only dream!
Thanks for taking the time to catch up on all the Disney news from the past 7 days. Check in again next week for our latest edition of New Week, New Dis! or catch up on the information from last week.