MickeyBlog Disney News Update – Thanksgiving Edition
With the holidays in full swing at Disney theme parks, The Walt Disney Company is taking this opportunity to capitalize on their current momentum. The corporation’s made several interesting announcements in recent days, including a detailed update on one of their most anticipated rides. Let’s get started!
New Ride Info!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is one of the most highly anticipated upcoming rides at Walt Disney World. The new attraction will become one of the anchor draws at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when it arrives in May of 2019 (the current ETA).
Disney recently held a press conference wherein they invited several media outlets to see the plans for the new ride. You can watch a video of the original announcement here. The updated information about the ride confirms the definition of 2.5-D, the cheeky term Disney’s used to describe the technology involved. What they mean by this is that it’s a 3-D ride, only you don’t need to wear special glasses to see in all three dimensions. Parts of the attraction will jump off the screen at you just as you’d expect from a 3-D experience, though.
Disney’s also promising a lot of special color techniques. The new attraction will feature animation in the same vein as the current Mickey Mouse animated shorts on Disney Channel. You’re probably already familiar with them and know just how eye-popping they are. Now imagine those gorgeous pixels combined with deft feats of Imagineering!
It’s Coco Time!
Coco finally arrives in theaters this week. The much-anticipated Pixar release will have an unexpected park presence in future years, possibly including an attraction, depending on whether current rumors are true. It’ll have an immediate presence long before then, though.
From November 22nd until January 8th, the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot will feature a mariachi band. The spectacularly named El Mariachi Coco de Santa Cecilia will perform shows based on Coco and Día de los Muertos. They will offer their renditions of some songs from the Coco soundtrack, and you can watch them at the place where you’d regularly find Donald Duck in his marvelous Three Caballeros costume. In case you’re wondering, Donald’s still available for a character meeting. It’s simply moved inside the Mexico Pavilion temporarily while the mariachi band holds court.
Given the rapturous reviews of Coco, you can safely bet that this is only the first of many impending movie tie-ins at the park. You can also look forward to the MickeyBlog review of Coco over the next week or so.
Speaking of Disney movies…
As presales for Star Wars: The Last Jedi cause service delays on movie ticket sales sites, Disney has revealed some key details of their impending Star Wars Land. We already knew that the official name was Galaxy’s Edge, but park officials recently released the name of the planet. When you visit Galaxy’s Edge, you’re on the planet of Batuu. You can read up on the history of the planet at the Star Wars wiki.
For the moment, the most important reveal is that you’re going to visit Batuu much sooner than expected. As of this week, Star Tours now includes a visit to Batuu! Yes, Disney has altered the ride in anticipation of the impending release of Star Wars VIII. It now features all the characters from the newest movie releases.
A classic version of Star Tours with all your beloved Skywalkers will also become available soon. Until then, everyone onboard enjoys a round-trip journey to Batuu and a few encounters with the nefarious First Order. Disney also offered this description of Batuu on their Parks & Resorts Blog:
“This remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe haven for those intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order. While Batuu may be new to us, it is clearly already familiar to many characters from the Star Wars saga as a stepping off point for epic adventures.”
I’ll say what we’re all thinking. Anyone who doesn’t plan to visit a Disney theme park in 2019 when Galaxy’s Edge opens isn’t a true Disney fan.
PS: If you’re interested in learning more about Galaxy’s Edge, The Orange County Register has a detailed examination of the blueprints. The analysis is so specific that it gets into details about the types of trees and stones used in parts of Star Wars Land! If you’re a Star Wars fan, it’s worth your time to read this article.
Attention, Christmas Shoppers at Disney Springs!
The glory of being an American is crass consumerism. We celebrate this practice on the most patriotic of holidays, Black Friday. On this day, we spend tons of money on items we don’t need, ostensibly because they’re at moderately discounted prices. And the entire practice is wonderful. USA! USA! USA!
If you’re going to spend part of the holiday season at Disney Springs, I have some great news. Disney knows that you hate that feeling of being encumbered while you shop. Sure, buying tons of stuff is fun, but you don’t want to have to drag those bags around on your seek-and-destroy shopping mission. Disney has you covered!
This holiday season, you can take all your unwanted/heavy bags to the Welcome Center at Disney Springs. You’ll just drop them off and receive a tag in exchange. This tag allows you to return at a later point to pick up your newly purchased goods, presumably when you’re ready to depart Disney Springs.
This idea is clever in that Disney doesn’t want to discourage you from additional purchases. When you have too many bags, you start to feel like you’ve done enough shopping. By offering hands-free shopping, the company makes your overall Disney Springs experience more convenient and enjoyable. This process also increases the odds that you buy more stuff than you would otherwise. After all, you no longer have to worry about whether or not you can carry everything. It’s a great idea that you should utilize while hanging out at Disney Springs this holiday season.
A Couple of Park Notes…
Let’s end the latest edition of MickeyBlog News with the most important information: the park-related stuff!
I have some temporary but sad news for park guests staying onsite. Due to expected check-in issues at Orlando International Airport, Disney has changed Tragical Express operating procedures for the next two months. On the day of check-out, you must arrive at Magical Express check-in four hours ahead of time instead of the normal three hours.
Disney doesn’t want anybody to miss a flight, and so they’re erring on the side of caution. That unfortunately means that you get one less hour at Walt Disney World right now…and I’m truly sorry for your loss. It sucks, but the great news is that I’m sure you’ll be planning your next visit soon enough!
On the plus side, the holiday season does bring some great news at Walt Disney World. The PhotoPass Studio onsite at Disney Springs has some special holiday-related backdrops. This location is a wonderful place to take family photographs, and it’s free for people who have PhotoPass access via their tickets or annual passes. Guests can also purchase PhotoPass for a day for $59 if you want some quick pictures that will grow into lifelong memories.
Okay, that’s the news for this week. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!