MickeyBlog News – Big Changes for Disneyland
Disney introduced a new package, leaked hints about an upcoming show, opened reservations for a trendy restaurant opening later this year, and created a new pop-up shopping event. You’ll learn about all of this plus…something about bananas in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News.
Watch the Fireworks in Style
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is only months away from its last performance. In the build-up to the final show, Disney’s giving guests an opportunity to watch one final performance in style. They’ve added a new prix fixe dinner at one of the best places to watch IllumiNations…and yes, it is an upsell.
The location is the Rose & Crown Dining Room, which I’ve previously declared the best place to watch the fireworks at The World Showcase. The patio here is directly across from the gigantic globe that’s the hub of IllumiNations. Disney has chosen to monetize the available seating here by offering a new package. The Parks Blog indicates that the “package includes a prix fixe menu that features a selection of Rose & Crown favorites, as well as unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.”
The cost of the meal is $85 per person for adults and $35 for children ages 3-9. Having eaten here many times, I’d say that this is a $35 upcharge in exchange for guaranteed seats for the show. Generally, the best tactic is to book an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) for 7:15 p.m. and then eat three courses. The servers know to time dessert with the start of IllumiNations.
During calendar 2019, space will be scarce for those who schedule ADRs due to the prix fixe dinner upsell. Should you want to watch IllumiNations from the Rose & Crown, this dining package is your best bet. It does include unlimited alcoholic beverages, making it a better deal for fans of British spirits.
Passholders Can Shop until You Drop
Annual Passholders enjoyed a special benefit at Walt Disney World during 2018. They could attend Super Saturdays, monthly events that occurred at Disney Springs. Before the official opening of Disney Springs, Disney provided passholders with early access to the various stores. Sometimes, these passholder events featured special amenities such as carolers during the December Super Saturday.
Disney just confirmed that Super Saturdays are no more. During 2019, a slightly different passholder option is available in its place. You can read the full details on the official site. The first event occurred this past weekend. Called the Potion Purple Premiere Pop-Up Event, this passholder showcase gave Disney’s most loyal customers the first crack at Potion Purple merchandise. It even featured purple-colored food and beverages!
The main differences with the new event are the location and time/date. The Potion Purple Premiere Pop-Up Event happened on Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Obviously, passholders didn’t have exclusive access to the park. They did have to show an annual pass and photo ID, though. Disney’s suggested that these 2019 events will happen at least monthly if not more often. Stay tuned to MickeyBlog to find out the date for the next one!
What Is Mickey’s Mix Magic Nighttime Show?
Later this week, Disneyland will debut a brand-spanking-new firework and projection show. Entitled Mickey’s Mix Magic Nighttime Show, it will start on January 18th. The presentation will take place at Rivers of America, where water screens are a part of the festivities. Disney promises state-of-the-art projections that rival if not surpass the ones for Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom.
While the show sounds dazzling, it’s a brief one. Mickey’s Mix Magic apparently clocks in at only 10 minutes. On the plus side, Disney’s trumpeting the musical soundtrack. In fact, WDWNT acquired a complete playlist. The new show will feature all of these songs:
- “It’s a Good Time”
- “I Wanna Be Like You”
- “Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat”
- “Friend Like Me”
- “Grim Grinning Ghosts”
- “Un Poco Loco”
- “Let It Go”
- “It’s a Good Time” (Finale)
I don’t know about you, but I’m tapping my toes and humming along already. Expect a video of the show to leak by the middle of the week. Several social media outlets will feature livestreams of the show’s debut on the 18th, too.
Something Opens While Something Else Closes
The upcoming week will be a busy one at the Happiest Place on Earth. In addition to a new fireworks presentation, Disneyland will open a new restaurant, too. Well, technically, Downtown Disney is the location.
The new place is a restaurant and pub known as Ballast Point Brewery & Kitchen. Its first day of operation is January 16th, and guests are excited to visit the 4,000-square foot facility that also has a 3,000-square foot rooftop patio. This place is poised to become the hot new hangout at Downtown Disney. You can see what’s in store for the restaurant by watching this YouTube clip.
While Disneyland has added a couple of new things this week, it also lost one. The dance party at Cars Land is no longer listed on the schedule at Disney California Adventure. DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive dates back to the opening of Cars Land in 2012. Cast members have performed several times daily over the years, but it’s apparently not a part of the park’s plans for 2019. It’s no longer listed on the daily schedule.
Changes at Walt Disney World
While the Most Magical Place on Earth doesn’t have any closures this week, it does have a couple of new options in the offing. One is Tapas, Steak & Seafood, the upcoming rooftop restaurant at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. Disney has opened the Advanced Dining Reservations window for this new eatery that will open on July 9th.
Tapas, Steak & Seafood will quickly become one of the buzz restaurants at Walt Disney World when it opens. Located at the top of the Gran Destino Tower, it’ll have sightlines for three different Disney parks and multiple fireworks presentations.
The best comparison is probably California Grill, which has a view of Happily Ever After and at least somewhat of a view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Tapas, Steak & Seafood is like a new and improved version of the pride of Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
The other significant change is a much-needed new parking garage at Disney Springs. The Grapefruit Garage is apparently only weeks away from opening. You may have heard it described as the Lemon Garage, but Disney has dropped that name as a poor companion to Lime and Orange, the current Disney Springs garages. The moment that it opens, congestion at Disney Springs will improve dramatically.
Saving the Banana for Last…
Finally, the strangest Disney story of the week involves bananas and marathons. As you may know, this past weekend was a Disney Marathon event. During the races, Chiquita had a presence. The banana manufacturer recently signed a deal to become – and I swear that this is a real thing – the official banana sponsor of Disney marathons.
You may wonder why either corporation needs this sponsorship. For Disney’s part, they have a banana problem. During marathons, savvy athletes pack bananas to ingest during the race. They’re healthy sources of human fuel to the point that should you watch the Australian Open this week, you’ll likely see a tennis player snacking on a banana between sets.
The problem is that banana peels don’t vanish. When they don’t get thrown in the proper garbage receptacles, Disney marathons become Mario Kart races. Banana peels cause racers to slip and slide. Plus, they create a mess that requires lots of cleanup.
Chiquita has stepped up to improve their environmental reputation. They know that banana peels have a terrible reputation. Disney’s marathons provide an opportunity to place a spotlight on their commitment to the environment. Chiquita provided special banana receptacles for the offending banana peels. The company promises to recycle them into either fertilizer or electricity. Here’s the science on the latter one if you’re interested.
So, good news, marathon runners! You can safely eat bananas without irritating Disney officials or damaging the environment!