MickeyBlog News for June 16, 2019
The summer theme park season is underway. Walt Disney World is ready for what one analyst has called the “last slow summer” due to the impending arrival of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Of course, their “slow” is what any other park would call “mobbed,” and the recent batch of news items supports this notion. Let’s get you caught up on what’s going on at Disney right now in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News!
Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Returns
Epcot is the park for fans of seasonal events. As a recurring part of their “daily World’s Fair” concept, Disney executives churn through presentations at the park. It’s a terrific way to keep every visit fresh.
During 2018, one of the most popular short-term shows was Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!. Cast members portrayed Peter Quill and Gamora, while a digital Groot appeared to provide some adorable comic relief. The presentation involved the Guardians of the Galaxy teaching an alien race how to sing and dance to some of the most memorable songs from the 1970s and early 1980s, the ones that Quill keeps on his cassette tapes.
The show is almost identical to last year. As far as I can tell, Disney has recast one of the aliens and given him a different outfit. Otherwise, the music, dances, and dialogues are the same. It’s a show that plays five times a day and is thoroughly entertaining on its own.
Disney’s zhooshed it up a little this year with some related foods. You can order tie-in delicacies like a Space Sandwich, an Awesome Mix Plate, or Cosmic Cake. Personally, I’m all about the Rocket Fuel, a frozen Coke with a touch of grenadine thrown in for good measure. Fans of Guardians of the Galaxy shouldn’t miss the concert anyway. The related foods are that special touch that puts the entire experience over the top. They’re available at Liberty Inn near the show stage.
Frozen 2 Is Coming!
For almost six years, Frozen fans have anxiously anticipated the arrival of a sequel. And now the wait is nearly over. Frozen 2 will debut in theaters on November 22nd, barely five months from today.
To heighten excitement for the project, Disney’s released the full-length trailer for the film. Let me just say that it is one of the most visually stunning animated clips that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve covered cinema for more than 20 years now.
I don’t want to spoil anything for those of you who haven’t seen it. Once you have watched the clip, I recommend reading this Business Insider article about 12 details you might have missed.
For most studios, a theatrical release like Frozen 2 would be easily the biggest of the year. For Disney, they have Toy Story 4 coming out in a few days. It’s still 100 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes after 94 (!) reviews. I’m honestly not even sure which of the two major 2019 animated titles is their most prominent. Disney’s absolutely dominant in the world of movie box office these days, my friends.
Conservation Station Is Back!
Okay, technically, it’s not back yet. Conservation Station will return on July 11th, less than a month from now. Rafiki’s Planet Watch, the Wildlife Express Train, and Affection Section (aka the petting zoo) all come back on this date.
As a way to boost intrigue for the Conservation Station area, park officials are adding some extra oomph. The Animation Experience represents Disney’s attempt to connect some of the creatures at Disney’s Animal Kingdom with characters from animated movies.
The Animation Experience will explore how individual animals inspired Disney characters. Guests can even craft a personalized Disney art piece based on one of the animated animals from The Lion King. Yes, Animal Kingdom’s about to become an even better way for parents to keep their children entertained without having to do much of anything. We’re all grateful for that.
Discounts! Get Your Disney Discounts!
Sometimes, Disney likes to reward its most loyal customers. And we’re currently in one of those phases right now.
Annual passholders are entitled to a discount through July 2nd. Whenever you eat at certain Table Service restaurants, you’ll receive 20 percent off of your order. In other words, you want to eat at one of these restaurants right now to take advantage of this fantastic offer.
The participating locations are:
Magic Kingdom Park
- Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen
- Liberty Tree Tavern
- The Crystal Palace
- The Diamond Horseshoe
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
- Biergarten Restaurant
- Coral Reef Restaurant
- Rose & Crown Dining Room
- The Garden Grill Restaurant
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Hollywood & Vine
- Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano
- The Hollywood Brown Derby
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
- Tiffins Restaurant
- Tusker House Restaurant
- Ale & Compass Restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- ESPN Club at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- Kona Cafe at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort
- Olivia’s Cafe at Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- The Wave… of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
That’s nearly 25 cheap meals you can have over the next few weeks! Go nuts, everybody!
Attention: Avengers Fans!
Are you suffering through Avengers withdrawals right now? In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is in between phases right now. Technically, Spider-Man: Far From Home concludes the current phase of the MCU, but we’re all left feeling a bit empty now that the entire Thanos storyline has run its course. The entire Avengers team is in flux right now due to the events at the end of the film, too.
While we’re all anxiously anticipating the next Marvel phase, we’ll have something to tide us over. During the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo aka E3, we learned that a new Avengers videogame is just around the corner. It will debut on all major gaming platforms in May of 2020, making it a kind of surrogate replacement for an actual Avengers film next May.
You can watch the video above to decide whether the premise appeals to you. Since it features several voice actors from Critical Role, I’m all-in on the premise.
A Harry Potter Ride Opens
We virtually never discuss other theme parks here at MickeyBlog News. However, a major hybrid dark ride/roller coaster just opened at Universal Orlando Resort. I’m mentioning it for a couple of reasons.
First of all, most of us are Harry Potter fans. The introduction of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is a huge deal to Muggles who dream of wizardry. That’s especially true since many of us sometimes spend a couple of days at Universal Studios during a Disney vacation.
The main reason that I’m mentioning it is to highlight the early struggles that the ride has faced. After only a few days in operation, it’s already had to open late on one day and faced several shutdowns during park hours.
Disney fans should contrast these headlines to Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. The next negative news cycle about the centerpiece attraction at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be the first one. It’s been open longer yet avoided major issues thus far.
Also, let’s contrast the waits in line. During a four-hour visit to Batuu, guests are virtually assured of a ride on Smuggler’s Run. Some guests, including a friend of mine, waited 14 hours (!) in line for a single ride on Motorbike Adventure.
Folks, we take Disney’s everyday excellence for granted. They’re so far ahead of the competition that the gap is almost comical.