On this episode of Mouse Kingdoms, we discuss new experiences, merchandise, dining, and entrance coming to Epcot, extended hours at some parks, fire department woes, a new exhibit at the Walt Disney Family Museum, and more!
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Four new film experiences are coming to Epcot for the 2020 International Festival of the Arts. The theme for the 2020 fest will be “film festivals.” The France Pavilion will be getting a Beauty and the Beast sing-along and will alternate with Impressions de France in the Circle Vision theater. The China Pavilion will feature the first ever seamless and digital Circle Vision 360 film and will replace Reflections of China. “Awesome Planet” will debut in the previous location of Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable. Finally, the O Canada film will be replaced with an upcoming update as well. All of these are scheduled to debut in January, 2020. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/beauty-the-beast-sing-along-seamless-china-circle-vision-awesome-planet-and-new-o-canada-films-set-to-debut-at-2020-epcot-festival-of-the-arts/
The new World Showcase restaurant in Japan is scheduled to open this summer. The Takumi-Tei Restaurant, a table service location, means house of the artisan. The upscale restaurant will feature items like Wagyu beef and a traditional tea service. Food is served in a multi-course tasting menu. Cocktails and premium sake, along with wine and craft beers will also be available. – https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/05/takumi-tei-restaurant-to-open-summer-2019-at-epcot/
The new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction coming to the France Pavilion in Epcot is reportedly ahead of schedule. Sources had previously put the opening date as May 2020, but that has moved up to April 2020. As a reminder, this is not official and Disney has not announced an opening date. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/rumor-remys-ratatouille-adventure-ride-opening-date-moves-ahead-of-schedule-for-epcot/
Starting June 17th, Farewell merchandise for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth will go on sale. The merchandise includes various designs on t-shirts, a cap, MagicBand, and two exclusive pins. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/photos-exclusive-new-illuminations-reflections-of-earth-farewell-merchandise-coming-to-epcot-on-june-17th/
This weekend at the entrance to Epcot, walls went up around some of the Leave a Legacy Monoliths. The Monoliths were installed to hold the Leave a Legacy snapshots that guests could purchase up until 2006. The snapshots will be moving to either side of the entrance when it is reconfigured in the coming months. The monoliths will go off to Yesterland. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/first-phase-of-leave-a-legacy-monolith-removal-to-begin-this-weekend-at-epcot/
Hours have been extended at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom in June and July. Some days the parks are opening earlier than previously posted, and on some days the parks are staying open later than posted. For a full list of dates and times, check out the links in our show notes. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/park-hours-for-disneys-animal-kingdom-extended-in-june-and-july/
The first part of the re-imagined bag check and tram drop off has been completed and opened to guests. The new entrance plaza is a nice open space that should be able to accommodate the influx of guests that will be entering in August when Galaxy’s Edge opens. The other side of the previous bag check area is being torn down. – http://blogmickey.com/2019/05/new-hollywood-studios-bag-check-and-tram-lane-now-open/
In a true test of the security screening that is in place at Disney World, a guest that had a gun in his bag was stopped while attempting to enter the park. The 29 year old man stated to police that the fact that the 9mm handgun and two clips were in his bag was an accident. He had just switched cars and meant to leave it in the car he was currently driving. – https://www.wdwinfo.com/news-stories/daytona-beach-man-arrested-at-walt-disney-world-when-security-discovered-a-gun-in-his-backpack/
A rumor about the upcoming Wreck It Ralph attraction coming to Tomorrowland was posted online this week. The rumor states that each guest on the attraction will be given a game controller that is attached to the seats in the same round theaters that housed Stitch’s Great Escape and Alien Encounter before that. Guests will be able to interact with the show through the controllers. The new attraction is scheduled to open in 2022, the year after the Tron coaster is scheduled to open. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/rumor-every-guest-will-have-a-game-controller-in-new-wreck-it-ralph-attraction-at-the-magic-kingdom/
If you have purchased Disney Parks merchandise online before, you might have used the Shop Disney Parks app. That app is now being discontinued and all purchases will go through the ShopDisney app. – https://wdwnt.com/2019/05/breaking-shop-disney-parks-app-being-retired/
The Walt Disney Family Museum has opened a new exhibit. Mickey Mouse: From Walt to the World is open until January 6, 2020. The exhibit chronicles how, over the past 90 years, Mickey Mouse has influenced art and entertainment. There will be more than 400 items, including never before seen sketches, nostalgic merchandise, vintage photos, and animated shorts. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at wdfmuseum.org. – https://www.waltdisney.org/exhibitions/mickey-mouse-walt-world
The Reedy Creek Fire Department, responsible for the Walt Disney World Resort, got a new truck to aid in evacuations from the new Skyliner system that is scheduled to go into service later this year. – http://blogmickey.com/2019/04/photos-disney-skyliner-evacuation-procedure-testing-begins-at-walt-disney-world/
With all the expansion happening at Disney World, the Reedy Creek Fire Department is getting stretched pretty thin. Tim Stromsnes, the president of the Reedy Creek Firefighters Association told the Orlando Sentinel they are “stretched to the max.” With the new equipment that has been provided, more manpower to operate it has not kept pace. The department asked for 40 new positions, but only two administrative positions were added. The department currently employs 138 firefighters, with at least 32 kept on duty at all times. – https://www.laughingplace.com/w/news/2019/05/17/walt-disney-world-firefighters-reportedly-stretched-thin-with-increase-in-attractions/