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December 2016 Archives

December 3, 2016

Spaceship Earth to Become Star Wars Death Star

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Spaceship Earth at Epcot to become Giant Star Wars Death Star during Special After-Hours Event

In celebration for the upcoming release of Rogue One – A Star Wars Story, Walt Disney World is hosting a special (now sold out) event during which Spaceship Earth will magically transform into the iconic super-weapon the Death Star.

The evening will also include announcements about the new Star Wars experiences and enhancements coming to Walt Disney World.

You will be able to watch this exclusive after-hours event on the Disney Parks Blog during #DisneyParksLIVE stream on Monday, December 5.

The #DisneyParksLIVE stream will begin at 10:25 p.m. on the Disney Parks Blog.

To follow along on Twitter, use the hashtags #DisneyParksLIVE and #RogueOne.

New PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs

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A brand-new Disney PhotoPass Studio just debuted in the Marketplace at Disney Springs, and is the perfect place to snap a family portrait.

At the Studio, guests can choose from the original standard background or new virtual backgrounds that place you front and center at some of your favorite Disney scenes. A Disney PhotoPass Photographer will be onhand to find the perfect virtual background for your portrait.

Along with additional portrait spaces, new view stations have been installed for you to easily preview, purchase and print all of your vacation memories linked to your Disney account with the assistance of a Disney PhotoPass Photographer*.

Reservations are not needed to visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio, and photos taken at this location will be linked to your My Disney Experience account. Studio photos are also included as part of an active Memory Maker entitlement.

*Online account registration required. Disney PhotoPass Service and Memory Maker are subject to the Disney PhotoPass and Memory Maker terms and applicable policies available at https://mydisneyphotopass.disney.go.com/help-and-support/policies. Photos in your account will expire pursuant to the expiration policy Downloads are restricted to personal use only. Not responsible for missing, lost or damaged photos. Subject to restrictions and change without notice.

December 5, 2016

New Star Wars Experiences Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios

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Lineup includes new elements from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” updates to fan favorites and an ultimate tour of Star Wars experiences

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2016) – A galaxy of new Star Wars experiences is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning mid-December. The announcement -- made today at Walt Disney World Resort -- noted that some of the coming-soon additions are inspired by “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” that opens in theaters worldwide on Dec. 16.

Guests, including fans of the epic space saga, will find new entertainment, special displays inside Star Wars Launch Bay, a first-ever themed tour and more at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Premiering this Month

-- Star Wars Launch Bay – a multi-sensory space celebrating all things Star Wars – is now updated with authentic replicas from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” joining other Star Wars memorabilia in the preview gallery. Making-of footage from “Rogue One” has been added to the “Meet the Makers” film featured in Star Wars Launch Bay.
-- In the popular daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away,” guests will get a first look at AWR Troopers from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” Outfitted in their specialized Stormtrooper armor with a dark, ominous gleam, these soldiers serve as bodyguards and enforcers for Director Krennic, a highly placed officer within the Advance Weapons Research (AWR) division of the Empire. A new Troopers sequence will join the show Dec. 16. Performances daily.
-- The fan favorite nighttime show, “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on December 16 and will join “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park through Dec. 31. The show will continue to be presented in 2017.
-- Starting mid-December, randomized tracks will be returning to Star Tours – the Adventures Continue, the popular attraction that uses motion simulator-based technology. Instead of each ride experience launching from the planet of Jakku, the attraction will be randomized to both start and end at different locations for every galactic journey. New scenes from “Star Wars: Episode VIII” will be added to Star Tours in the coming year.

New in 2017
For the ultimate fan comes the ultimate tour. An all-new Star Wars guided tour is a seven-hour immersion in all the park’s current Star Wars experiences. Here’s what it includes:

A Star Wars “all-in-the-know” tour guide
Priority boarding for Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Encounter two Star Wars characters (Chewbacca and Kylo Ren) at Star Wars Launch Bay
An in-depth, insider’s tour around Star Wars Launch Bay
Screening of “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi”
Enjoy Star Wars-themed menu items during dinner at Backlot Express
A spot in the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which includes themed sweets and specialty beverages, as well as reserved viewing for the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show

Younglings ages 4-12 on the guided tour package can also train in the way of The Force in Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Priced at $129 per person, tours begin Jan. 2 and will be offered on Mondays and Saturdays throughout 2017. Reservations for January tours can be made soon.

This latest flight of additions celebrating the Star Wars saga continues to elevate the Star Wars presence at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Entire Star Wars-themed lands are now under construction at the theme park and at Disneyland Park in California

December 6, 2016

The Main Street Electrical Parade Returns Jan. 20, Lighting Up the Nighttime at Disneyland!


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Separate-Ticket Premiere Welcomes Main Street Electrical
Parade Back to Disneyland Park on Thursday, Jan. 19

ANAHEIM, Calif. (Dec. 5, 2016) –The Main Street Electrical Parade, one of the most popular of all Disney parades, returns to Disneyland Park Friday, Jan. 20, 2017, with all the lights, sounds, music and fun that have made it a beloved icon. With nightly performances through Sunday, June 18, guests will have a limited time to enjoy the parade’s encore performance.

The dazzling and colorful after-dark parade premiered in Disneyland in 1972 and has been seen at Disney Parks around the world. Although its last Disneyland Park performance was in November 1996, and at Disney California Adventure Park in 2010, it has continued to shine brightly in the memories of thousands of guests.

Guests who wish to be among the first to welcome the parade back to Disneyland may purchase a special, separate ticket for an after-hours premiere on Thursday evening, Jan.19. After the park closes, premiere ticket holders will enjoy a night of exclusive access to select Disneyland attractions and select restaurants from 7:30 to midnight, along with an exciting performance of the Main Street Electrical Parade before its official return on Jan. 20. Tickets to the premiere go on sale for Disneyland Resort Annual Passholders on Tuesday, Dec. 6, and to the general public on Tuesday, Dec. 13. They may be purchased at any Disneyland Resort ticket booth or by calling 714-781-INFO (714-781-4636).

Accompanied by treasured Disney tunes interwoven with the distinctive “Baroque Hoedown” synthesized soundtrack, the Main Street Electrical Parade brings a variety of beloved Disney stories to life in parade floats covered in approximately half a million twinkling lights. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Goofy lead the way and Cinderella, Peter Pan, Snow White, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland are among the characters whose stories unfold along the parade route. Tinker Bell now appears with other fairies on the Peter Pan float.

The parade’s return to Disneyland for the first time since 1996 also marks the return of the original Main Street Electrical Parade opening float. A whimsical train pulls a giant drum unit that proclaims “Disneyland Presents ... Main Street Electrical Parade” in bright lights.

Some of the parade’s most impressive scenes are the 23-foot-tall Clock Tower looming over Cinderella’s Ball, attended by elegant ballroom dancers in costumes covered with lights; and the 108-foot-long finale unit, a red-white-and-blue tribute to America. Elliot, the smoke-breathing, tail-wagging “Pete’s Dragon,” weighs more than 5,600 pounds and is 16 feet tall, more than 10 feet wide and 38 feet long. Guests will need to keep an eye out for Elliot, who disappears from time to time along the route.

The Main Street Electrical Parade was performed more than 3,600 times for more than 75 million guests during its original run in Disneyland Park. The enduring popularity of the parade led to Electrical Parades at Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. The parade returned to the Disneyland Resort with an engagement in Disney California Adventure Park from 2001 to 2010.

A specially decorated Main Street Electrical Parade boat will appear in the 108th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade, Dec. 14 through 18 in Newport Harbor. Mickey Mouse will serve as Grand Marshal for the popular boat parade on opening night, Wednesday, Dec. 14, accompanied by Disney Ambassador Allie Kawamoto.

Information about the Main Street Electrical Parade premiere party, happening after hours on Jan. 19, will be available on www.Disneyland.com beginning Tuesday, Dec. 6.

New Land of Fantasy and a New Year Full of Magical Additions at Walt Disney World

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The unveiling of a magical, mythical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and soaring Banshees anchors an exciting 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort – a year filled with new water park fun, a new festival for Epcot, more openings at Disney Springs, an awe-inspiring nighttime experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and much more.

Here’s a roundup at what the new year has in store:

Pandora – The World of Avatar – A transformational experience unlike any other, Pandora – The World of Avatar, opens in summer 2017. In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR, in a breathtaking new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Avatar Flight of Passage will send guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Bioluminescent rainforests dramatically wrap around Na’vi River Journey, a family-friendly boat ride.

Hungry adventurers can recharge at Satu’li Canteen, the main dining location, or Pongu Pongu, a drink kiosk with a design as eclectic as its expat owner. Shoppers can stock up on Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more at Windtraders. “From the place making to the two extraordinary attractions that will be in the land…these promise to set new high-watermarks for the experiential magic we give our guests,” said Bob Chapek, Chairman, Disney Parks and Resorts.

More Additions to Disney Springs in 2017 – With the multi-year makeover of this hip, happening district for dining, shopping and entertainment in the homestretch, still more exciting openings are on tap for 2017. Great new food and beverage venues lead the way.

Paddlefish – Sleek and modern after a bow-to-stern transformation from the former Fulton’s Crab House, Paddlefish will serve fresh seafood, steaks and chops. Unique menu choices for seafood lovers include a build-your-own boil. A new rooftop lounge will serve up a late-night menu and shipshape views of the water and Disney Springs. Open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch.

Planet Hollywood Observatory – Longtime Downtown Disney-goers will remember the iconic domed restaurant that drew celebrities and fans of the Hollywood scene. The reborn space will be themed to stars of a different kind: a turn-of-the-20th-Century observatory serving up amazing burgers and sandwiches created by celebrity chef Guy Fieri, and craft cocktails whose names are inspired by the planets and space travel. Movie memorabilia, video screens, contemporary music and themed merchandise complete the scene.

The Polite Pig – A sister restaurant to the Ravenous Pig, a favorite with Orlando locals, The Polite Pig will bring the same focus on genuine Florida cuisine to a broader global audience at Disney Springs. Lunch and dinner menus will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items as well as an innovative beverage program that serves all drinks on tap, including beer, wine and cocktails.

Wine Bar George – Orlando master sommelier George Miliotes uncorks his first Disney wine bar in a space reminiscent of a winemaker’s estate warmed by oak wood and cozy lighting. Small plates dominate the food menu but it will be the wines with a starring role: more than 100 selections both by the bottle and the glass in a range of varietals and vintages.

Home to four distinct neighborhoods, Disney Springs treats guests to a world of beautiful open-air promenades, flowing springs, arcing foot bridges and waterfront charm. Venues have doubled – to approximately 150.

New Family Raft Ride at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park – Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer. Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artifacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon. Guests gently ascend in treasure rafts, only to plunge into a whitewater adventure where they will encounter some of Mary’s deep sea booty. When it opens in spring 2017, it will be one of the longest attractions (2 minutes) at Disney’s Water Parks.

Rivers of Light – Coming in 2017, this powerful theatrical production takes Disney’s Animal Kingdom guests on a magnificent emotional journey – a visual mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score. Continuing the park’s transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience, the amazing after-dark show on the banks of Discovery River celebrates the majesty of nature and the connection between animals and humans in the world. With innovative and never-before-seen technology, Rivers of Light will be unlike any other production ever staged at Walt Disney World Resort.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts – Epcot welcomes an all-new festival playing winter weekends and treating guests to a triple scoop of artful fun. For six colorful weekends (Fridays through Mondays) Jan. 13-Feb. 20, visual, culinary and performing arts will take center stage. Each weekend will feature taste bud-tempting and eye-dazzling creations from the Disney culinary team. Meantime, exciting new art from various media will tempt art lovers. Because the artwork will change out, it’s a new art festival every weekend. In addition, the lagoon-side stage at American Gardens Theatre will pulse with favorite showtunes performed by Broadway talent. In a collaboration with Disney Theatrical, songs from some of Disney on Broadway’s award-winning shows including The Lion King, Newsies and Aladdin will be performed.

Unique All-New Experiences for Dining, Star Wars Fans – A new adventure in Disney dining and the ultimate Star Wars tour are being offered to guests in 2017.

Disney’s famed monorail is your connection in a movable feast called Highway in the Sky Dine-Around. The new experience gives guests priority boarding on the monorail for a distinctly Disney dining experience with stops for cocktails, appetizers, dinner and dessert. From a welcome cocktail at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, guests call at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort (apps), Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa (entree) and back to the Contemporary for dessert, cordials and coffee. Offered Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

For the ultimate Star Wars fan comes the ultimate tour. An all-new Star Wars Guided Tour is a seven-hour immersion in all current Star Wars experiences at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Character greetings, themed dining, ride experiences, insider’s tours, dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular are among highlights. Offered Mondays and Saturdays, it’s part of several new Star Wars additions announced in December 2016 for the park, including a new onstage sequence in the daytime experience “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” Star Wars-themed lands are planned for Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

New Cabins and Deluxe Villas coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – In 2017, a proposed new Disney Vacation Club Resort, Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, is scheduled to open, featuring new Resort accommodations that include plans for Deluxe Villas and unique waterfront cabins. Other enhancements coming to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool, part of Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, is also scheduled to open in summer 2017. Named Boulder Ridge Cove, this area will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool.

New Cheerleading, Dance Venue for ESPN Wide World of Sports – A first-of-its-kind venue specifically designed for the high-energy world of cheerleading and dance team competition opens its doors in 2017 at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The complex is collaborating with Varsity Spirit, the nation’s top cheerleading organization, in bringing the new multi-use venue to life. The venue will include a flexible design that allows for as many as four competition areas. With the ability to seat more than 8,000 guests, the sports and entertainment venue also can accommodate six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or be configured for concerts.

December 8, 2016

Morimoto Asia Rings in the Holidays

Ready to ring in the holidays? Visit Morimoto Asia for new and inovative holiday cocktails!

Winter Wonderland, Fuji Apple Holiday Cider and more. (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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How about an Asian Whisky Flight? (Click on the photo for a detailed image.)

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Morimoto Asia is located in Disney Springs at Walt Disney World.

December 9, 2016

Disney After Hours Returns to Magic Kingdom

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Disney After Hours, a hard-ticket event that allows guests to enjoy Magic Kingdom attractions and character greetings after regular park hours, will return for select dates in January, February and March 2017. (Disney After Hours originally was available for a limited time earlier this year.)

Disney After Hours event tickets are limited to keep crowds low. The Disney After Hours ticket allows park entry as early as 7 p.m., so that attendees can enjoy the “Wishes” fireworks, then remain in the park for three hours past the park’s scheduled closing time. During the event nights, 25 attractions and experiences are open, including:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Disney Princess Greetings at Princess Fairytale Hall
Haunted Mansion
“it’s a small world”
Jungle Cruise
Peter Pan’s Flight
Pirates of the Caribbean
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Space Mountain
Splash Mountain

Ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select beverages are provided as part of your admission. In addition, you can purchase select menu items at Main Street Bakery and other locations throughout the park.

Disney After Hours event nights are currently set for January 20 and 27, February 2, 9 and 16, and March 2 and 9, 2017. (Disney After Hours does NOT replace Extra Magic Hours. The after-hours events are held on other dates.)

The event takes place 8 to 11 p.m. on:

Thursday, February 2, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
Thursday, February 16, 2017

The event takes place 9 p.m. to midnight on:

Friday, January 20, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tickets for Disney After Hours are $119 per person -- that's ages 3 and up. (Children under 3 do not require a ticket.) Tickets are available now by calling 407-827-7185 or by visiting disneyworld.com.

December 15, 2016

$12 million transformation of Dolphin Resort lobby

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Lake Buena Vista, Fla. – The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s Dolphin lobby will undergo a $12 million re-design as the final stage of the largest makeover in the resort’s history. When finished in the fall of 2017, the new lobby will be completely transformed into a sleek contemporary space and feature new dining and beverage options.

The lobby re-design is the final stage of a total $140 million project which also includes the transformation of all 2,267 guest rooms, along with upgrades to the hotel’s meeting space.

“This lobby will mark the final piece of an exciting transformation for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort,” said General Manager Fred Sawyers. “This space is designed specifically to cater to today’s guests and offer an inviting place where they can come together to relax, network, and grab something to eat or drink.”


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Renowned Manhattan design firm ICRAVE, designers of projects including Westin New York at Times Square, W Atlanta and STK restaurants, created the concept for the new lobby space, drawing on inspiration from the lobby’s iconic Dolphin fountain.

The centerpiece of the new lobby will be a dazzling custom crystal chandelier which will sparkle above the fountain and use the latest in color-changing lighting technology.

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Other new features will include a new geometric ceiling, increased lighting, all new contemporary décor and furnishings and more than double the amount of seating.

Two new food and beverage options will be incorporated into the lobby, including a bar and lounge space seating up to 150.

A new quick service café and market offering coffee, sandwiches and snacks will provide guests a convenient way to energize during their day, whether it be filled with business meetings or exploring the theme parks.

The Dolphin Resort lobby will remain open throughout the renovation with minimal impact to resort guests. The project is currently scheduled to begin in spring 2017 for completion by fall 2017.

About the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort

In the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort, the award-winning Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort resides amongst the greatest theme parks and attractions in Central Florida. The resort is located between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and nearby Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Magic Kingdom Park. Guests can discover 17 world-class restaurants and lounges, sophisticated guest rooms with Westin Heavenly Beds and the luxurious Mandara Spa. The resort features five pools, two health clubs, tennis, nearby golf, complimentary transportation throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, the extended park hours benefit, where each day, one of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks is open extra time for guests to enjoy select attractions (Valid Theme Park admission and Resort ID required) and Disney FastPass+ service, where guests can reserve up to 3 select theme park experiences up to 60 days in advance of their visit. The resort can be reached at 800-227-1500, www.swandolphin.com or through Facebook at www.facebook.com/swananddolphin.

December 16, 2016

Four More Magic Kingdom Restaurants to Serve Beer, Wine Starting December 23

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According to an item in the Orlando Sentinel this morning, a number of Magic Kingdom restaurants will start serving beer and wine next week.

These restaurants will serve alcoholic beverages suited to their themes as follows:

-- Cinderella’s Royal Table, located in the park's iconic Cinderella Castle, will serve sparkling wines and champagne.

-- The Jungle Cruise-themed Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in Adventureland will feature a "global" beverage menu to pair with some of the more exotic dishes it serves up.

-- The colonial-themed Liberty Tree Tavern in the park's Liberty Square will offer beer, cider and domestic wines to go with its traditional American fare.

-- The "Lady and the Tramp"-themed Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, will have Italian wines and beers to match its Italian cuisine.

The new beverage offerings, which have been chosen with the aid of Master Sommelier Brian Koziol, concept development director for Disney Parks Food & Beverage, will be available daily at lunch and dinner starting Friday, December 23. Be Our Guest Restaurant in the park's Fantasyland will continue to serve alcoholic beverages, too, as it has done since 2012.

There will be no bars or take-away kiosks serving alcohol in the Magic Kingdom -- the beer and wine will only be sold in these five table-service restaurants.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For years, the Magic Kingdom did not serve any sort of alcoholic beverages. We wonder what your thoughts are on this change in policy for the Magic Kingdom? Please leave your comments below!



Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Park Updates

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Several exciting offerings inspired by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will debut today, December 16th, to the delight of guests at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

First, AWR Troopers from the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will debut at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in a new scene in the park’s existing “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away” daytime show. AWR (Advanced Weapons Research) Troopers are encased in specialized Stormtrooper armor, and serve as the bodyguards and enforcers of Director Krennic of the AWR division of the Empire.

The park's Star Wars Launch Bay was also updated with new props from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” including a Shoretrooper Blaster, Director Krennic’s Imperial Shuttle, a Death Star model, a U-wing gunship and more. Making-of footage has also been added to the the behind-the-scenes film in Launch Bay Theater.

Guests visiting Star Wars Launch Bay at either Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Disneyland park in California on December 16 and until supplies last only may receive a complimentary Rogue One: A Star Wars Story button.

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular,” will return to the park. (The show will join the nightly holiday “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” as a second nightly fireworks spectacular at the park now through December 31).

MagicBand 2 Debuts December 16!

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On December 16, Disney World will a release a limited edition retail MagicBand 2 that celebrates the 45th Anniversary of the “it’s a small world” attraction. This classic Magic Kingdom Park attraction opened in 1971. Presented in a decorative box, the MagicBand 2 will have an edition size of 2,500.

On December 19, two retail MagicBand 2 designs will be introduced for 2017. These designs incorporate the dated 2017 program artwork you will find on select merchandise items in the coming year.

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Here's a preview of new MagicKeepers for guests who prefer an alternative way to wear their MagicBand 2. MagicKeepers will include two Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse-themed lanyard clips and a carabiner. The images above show how MagicKeepers will be sold (without a removable icon) and how they appear with removable icons.

The MagicKeeper accessories will be released at a future date.

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December 20, 2016

Disney Parks Prepares for Most ‘Magical Christmas Celebration’ Airing Dec. 25

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Julianne and Derek Hough Host the 33rd Annual Telecast with Performances by Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, OneRepublic and more

Anaheim, Calif. and Lake Buena VistA, Fla. (Dec. 14, 2016) - Following a festive kick-off to the holidays that began Thanksgiving Day with two new broadcast specials, Disney Parks will close out 2016 with its most cherished seasonal tradition of all - the annual Christmas Day spectacular. "The Disney Parks' Magical Christmas Celebration" airs Sunday, December 25, 2016, on the ABC Television Network (10a.m. - 12 p.m. ET; airtimes vary; check local listings) and on the ABC and the Disney Channel apps.

Ushering in its 33rd year are the dynamic brother-sister duo from “Dancing with the Stars,” Julianne Hough and Derek Hough, who will present the two-hour ABC special from the Walt Disney World Resort. The season’s most eagerly awaited celebration culminates with the fan-favorite Christmas parade delivered by Disneyland correspondent, Good Morning America’s Jesse Palmer from the action-packed parade lines alongside other exciting celebrity guests.

Beyond offering an all-star performance lineup featuring the biggest names in music and entertainment, the joyous program will provide viewers with a necessary holiday reminder: the importance of family togetherness. Following the inspirational stories of the families introduced in the Thanksgiving Day special, the telecast will feature heartwarming moments between loved ones, reinforcing the notion that Christmas is all about friends and family coming together.

Taking viewers on a magical ride down Main Street U.S.A. and beyond, the Christmas Day festivities will be bigger and brighter than ever before. A complete list of musical performances is included below.

Alessia Cara performs a “A Holly Jolly Christmas” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
Mariah Carey performs one of the biggest selling holiday songs of all time, “All I Want for Christmas is You” from the Disneyland Resort
Sofia Carson delivers a new arrangement of “Silent Night” from her Disney Channel performance and also hosts from backstage at Walt Disney World Resort
Kelly Clarkson performs “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort
Gavin DeGraw sings “Merry Christmas Baby” in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort
Jordan Fisher performs “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
OneRepublic performs “Kids” from Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort
Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks deliver in front of Cinderella Castle at the Walt Disney World Resort solo and duet performances from their new album, “Christmas Together,” out now

In keeping with the spirit of the season, Disney Parks around the world are festively cast with spectacular experiences and special castle lighting moments, making them the perfect destinations for families celebrating the holidays and for the beloved ABC special.

All four parks of the Walt Disney World Resort get in the holiday spirit with new shows, thrilling spectaculars and beloved characters to create lasting memories. At Magic Kingdom Park, in addition to exciting new entertainment for the special-ticket “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party,” Cinderella Castle transforms into a shimmering ice palace as Queen Elsa leads “A Frozen Holiday Wish” nightly. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, an all-new “Jingle Bell, Jingle BAM!” sends beloved Disney characters on a mission to get Santa back to the North Pole in time for Christmas Eve. At Epcot, in addition to global entertainment, guests can explore what the holidays taste like around the world. For its first-ever full holiday celebration, Disney Springs is wrapped in festive décor and entertainment, while dozens of new stores have laid the welcome mat out for holiday shoppers. An all-new nightly spectacle, “Starbright Holidays,” fills the skies above Disney Springs with 300 show drones performing an amazing aerial ballet set to holiday music.

At Disney California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Resort, a new “Festival of Holidays” treats guests to music, dance, food and heartwarming holiday traditions. The popular World of Color nighttime water spectacular is also transformed into “World of Color – Season of Light” with holiday music and treasured Disney animation. Among a sleigh-full of holiday events and activities at Disneyland Park is “A Christmas Fantasy,” a daily parade of floats, music, tin soldiers and holiday cheer. In addition, Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle creates magical snowfall moments along Main Street, U.S.A.

The 33rd annual Christmas celebration airs nationwide on December 25 at 10 a.m. EST and 9 a.m. CST, MST and PST on the ABC Television Network. The show will also be available on the ABC and the Disney Channel apps.

To stay updated on the Christmas Day telecast on social media, follow along with the #DisneyChristmasCelebration hashtag.

December 28, 2016

Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday

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Epcot is celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday with special commemorative buttons.

Answer a trivia question and win a button. Available until July 1, 2017 (or while supplies last).

D23 Announces 2017 Gold Member Gift

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The 2017 Gold Member Gift is Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men

Les Clark, Marc Davis, Ollie Johnston, Milt Kahl, Ward Kimball, Eric Larson, John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman, and Frank Thomas earned their nickname from none other than Walt himself. These animators were truly innovators—recognizing and putting into action new ideas, and bringing personalities to life through a craft that they helped create and continued to develop throughout their careers. The “Nine Old Men” are responsible for countless Disney characters, including Peter Pan (Milt Kahl), Maleficent (Marc Davis), and Jiminy Cricket (Ward Kimball).

Working closely with the Walt Disney Archives and the Animation Research Library, D23 has put together a stunning box set of 23 meticulously reproduced items that celebrate the work and achievements of these magnificent animators. Included are original characters sketches done by the artists, a pinback button celebrating Eric Larson’s 50th anniversary at Disney, and the program from the 1989 Disney Legends ceremony where the Nine Old Men were inducted.

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About December 2016

This page contains all entries posted to Disney and Florida Attractions News Blog in December 2016. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2016 is the previous archive.

January 2017 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.