MickeyBlog Disney News for February 5, 2018
You may be bundled up for the winter, but The Walt Disney Company’s already thinking about how you’ll spend your Spring Break and Summer. They’re even planning for 2021! Here are the latest news tidbits from this week.
Mobile Ordering Gets Better
MickeyBlog has championed the Mobile Ordering system at Walt Disney World. It’s a new way to order theme park food without waiting in line. By using this app, you save a lot of valuable park time while still eating the same food.
Mobile Ordering definitely streamlines the process. It’s not perfect, though. Disney fans have lamented the absence of discounts. Annual Pass owners and Disney Vacation Club members should get 10-20 percent off their meals at several restaurants. Unfortunately, the system can’t process those discounts yet.
Similarly, Mickey Travelers using the Disney Dining Plan (DDP) were previously unable to exchange valid meal credits for meals. Guests had to wait in line to use the DDP…until now! As of the most recent My Disney Experience update, Mobile Ordering now accepts the DDP! You can pay for your meal using credits while still skipping the line. It’s a huge improvement that will make your next trip to Walt Disney World that much better.
Disney Skyliner Update
While Disney announced the Skyliner at D-23 2017 and provided additional details during their December news release cycle, it hasn’t actually been official until recently. Disney had to get the city of Reedy Creek to sign off on some of the details. Since Reedy Creek is basically Disney City, it was never going to be an issue, but the latest news sheds further light on the situation.
On January 24th, the governing board of Reedy Creek approved a whopping $3.8 million construction budget for the Disney Skyliner. That’s not the amazing part, though. Disney’s spending that money solely on electrical work! Over the next six months, park planners expect to build the electric infrastructure that will support the Skyliner.
The Orlando Sentinel provides full details, noting that “part of the gondola project — four switches, six transformers and 9,000 feet of cable (about 1.7 miles’ worth) — will cost $1.2 million.” The company with the winning bid is Carter Electric. Their proposal calls for quick progress. Presuming they meet deadline, all of the electrical work will be in place by October! We could feasibly see trial runs of gondolas by the end of 2018, much faster than most people have projected. At this point, an optimistic timeline has the Skyliner in operation by the summer of 2019. That would be only two years after the project’s announcement.
By the way, the Orlando Sentinel article also hints at some possible Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster details. You should read it if you’re interested in the subject. Since it’s still speculative in nature, we’re not reporting on it for now.
The Light Cycles Are Coming!
Our friends at WDWNT have combed the legal documents to unearth an important piece of information. They read the building permits for the Tron Lightcycle Power Run project. In doing so, they revealed that the construction work must be completed by August 16, 2021. Otherwise, Disney must file for an extension.
Given that 2021 is the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World, the expectation has always been that all the major projects announced at D-23 will arrive by then. This documentation confirms that timeline, as Disney fans know that the official opening day occurred on October 1st, 1971. So, Disney needs to finish the Tron roller coaster by October of 2021. Hopefully, it’ll arrive even sooner, but that’s the official date on the project blueprints.
Did I Say the Braves Are Leaving?
A couple of years ago, the Atlanta Braves broke the heart of this lifelong fan by announcing that they planned to move their Spring Training facilities. Currently hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World, the Braves found a better municipal deal in Sarasota County, Florida. They planned for 2018 (read: this month) to be the last season at Walt Disney World.
Well, in a huge shocking twist, a local government construction project has fallen behind schedule. The Braves recently learned that the new stadium in North Port won’t be ready in February of 2019. With hat in hand, they went back to Disney to explain the situation. Disney kindly agreed to extend their contract for another year, meaning that if you want to hang out with me, I’ll be at Walt Disney World a year from now to watch the final season of the Atlanta Braves at Walt Disney World. Basically, the final day for the Braves in Orlando was pushed back from March of 2018 until March of 2019. It’s no big deal unless you’re a diehard baseball fan like me.
Star Wars: Galactic Nights Returns!
In recent years, Disney’s Hollywood Studios has hosted a popular ticketed event called Star Wars: Galactic Nights. It’s part of the gradual evolution of the park toward its inevitable Star Wars future. Guests watch special shows and events while interacting with cast members and contributors to the Star Wars entertainment franchise.
Fans of the event will be pleased to learn that it returns this May. No, it doesn’t occur on May the 4th. That’s too obvious, I guess. Instead, the next Galactic Nights event is on May 27th, the Sunday before Memorial Day. Tickets are $129 per adult and $124 per child. And tickets WILL sell out. Anyone interested in the event should speak to a Mickey Travels agent right now to book the trip.
In the past, Disney’s hosted a Storm Troopers show called Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away and a nighttime fireworks spectacular. They’re promising something even better for 2018. The digital project system in place for the Tower of Terror will project Jedi-based imagery from the franchise. It’s similar to what Disney just did during the holiday season, only with Star Wars instead of yuletide fare. While I’ll always hold a soft place in my heart for Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios, Galactic Nights is the next best thing. Plus, during the event, the park’s attractions are open exclusively to ticket holders, giving you the opportunity to ride Star Tours to your heart’s content.
With The Incredibles 2 ready to debut in theaters in June, Disney’s going all-in on their favorite Pixar family. The Parks Blog announced that they will host an Incredible Summer this year, with special events at three of the four parks at Walt Disney World.
At Magic Kingdom, the Tomorrowland dance party is back after a brief hiatus. The Incredibles Take Over Tomorrowland sees the return of those dancing fools named Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone. Fans of the movie like me will also delight in the debut of Edna Mode. I’ve probably hung out at the old version of this event dozens of times, and I’m glad to see it’s back. Also, everything is better with Edna Mode.
The other two parks hosting Incredible Summer events are Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. At Epcot, The Incredibles aren’t really involved, though. Instead, the special event is The Guardians of the Galaxy Take the Stage, which is pretty much what you’d expect. Star-Lord and Gamora hang out and dance to tunes from Awesome Mixtapes 1 and 2. Apparently, an alien band plays, which sounds very Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. Really, all that matters is whether they get Hooked on a Feeling right.
The Animal Kingdom events are Explorers Meet UP! A Great Bird Adventure & A Dino-Tastic Celebration for Donald Duck. I’m unclear what these things have to do with The Incredibles, but the UP! show is the one previously discussed in MickeyBlog. It replaces the prior bird show, Flights of Wonder. The Donald Duck event is a “character celebration” in Dinoland U.S.A.
The odd aspect of the Incredible Summer is that Hollywood Studios won’t have an event. I say that because it’s going to have a strong Pixar presence moving forward thanks to the addition of Toy Story Land. Apparently, Disney didn’t want a new show or character meeting interfering with the daily construction. Still, that’s three fun elements added to Walt Disney World this summer, giving you that many more reasons to visit. Book your summer vacations now, my friends!
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