MickeyBlog News for August 11, 2019
Some weeks, The Walt Disney Company releases a little news. Other weeks, it releases a LOT of information. This past week falls into the latter category. Let’s get you caught up on a bunch of exciting updates in the latest edition of MickeyBlog News!
Disney Resorts Get Even Better
I’m a firm believer that everyone should stay at an official Disney resort during their vacation. The amenities are much better, and the logistics are unrivaled. This week, Disney added something even better.
The next time that you visit one of several Disney Deluxe Tier resorts, you can interact with some of your favorite characters. Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck Donald Duck, Chip, Dale, Pluto, Goofy, Lilo, and Stitch are all possibilities. You don’t have to stay at the resort to enjoy the character greetings.
A few times over the years, Disney’s offered these interactions. Most recently, they were available to entertain children during hurricane weather. Now, the character greetings are once again available as an attempt to offload some guest traffic from the theme parks during the earliest days of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
We don’t know of an end date or a set schedule for any character greetings. It’s just something that Disney’s doing for a while. However, I’ve felt for a while that this should become a permanent offering and believe Disney might reach the same conclusion at some point.
Speaking of Batuu…
When Imagineers constructed Black Spire Outpost, they couldn’t possibly have anticipated the two places that would have the most substantial demand. The longest waits on Batuu aren’t for Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run.
The specialty shops at Galaxy’s Edge have proven shockingly popular. And the toughest ticket in the land is for an intergalactic bar. Disney’s adjusting on the fly by changing the rules for these establishments.
Disneyland already required reservations for Oga’s Cantina and Savi’s Workshop. From now on, they’ll also take advanced bookings for Droid Depot, too. The fact that they’ve taken this step speaks to the remarkable demand for all of these special events. And let’s be honest.
Walt Disney World will have many guests wanting to do the same stuff. Park officials know this and are following the same strategy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Reservations are already open for Droid Depot, Oga’s Cantina, and Savi’s Workshop. If you don’t book a reservation, odds aren’t good that you’ll get to visit any of them during your stay.
Seriously, I tried to book all three for a November trip. I’ve only managed two so far, and I certainly didn’t get my preferred times. These Star Wars experiences are wildly popular, my friends. Book early to avoid getting shut out!
I Blame Harold the Yeti
Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland is one of the most historically significant attractions ever. It’s the roller coaster that triggered the industry’s thrill ride arms race. Since 1959, this original E-ticket attraction has delighted guests with its tubular sensations.
Alas, rides that are this old sometimes suffer a mishap. With Matterhorn Bobsleds, the man-made mountain caused the problem. Yes, the Matterhorn that Walt Disney once demanded that his Imagineers build is now 60 years old. And pieces of it are starting to come off. It’s not serious, but I’m not joking.
A piece of plaster from the Matterhorn literally fell off the side of the mountain but missed any portion of the ride track. Thankfully, the incident occurred while the park was closed. The situation was so minor that Disney didn’t even have to shutter the ride for the day. Instead, they kept one track closed to complete repairs while the other still provided thrills for guests. The mountain’s now repaired and as good as new.
More than anything, I’m amused that even man-made mountains are capable of avalanches.
Disney Springs Restaurant and Store News
We learned a lot about Disney Springs this week. For starters, the long-awaited grand opening of NBA Experience is almost here. On August 12th, the replacement for Disney Quest opens to the public.
The Disney Parks Blog will be there. In fact, Disney’s hosting an exclusive live stream of the opening ceremonies. This decision reinforces how important NBA Experience is to Disney. But it’s far from the only happening at Disney Springs.
We also just learned that The Edison will host A Gatsby Evening again this year. The 2018 version of the event proved wildly popular. So, the return engagement is far from a shock. In fact, the September 1st event may sell out. You should purchase tickets in advance if you’re interested in dressing like a flapper for the evening.
The other big news among existing restaurants involves Wolfgang Puck. The proprietor of Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill will hop into The Puckmobile and drive to Disney Springs on August 20th. On that date, he’ll hobnob with guests at the restaurant.
This event is a rare opportunity to meet one of the most famous chiefs ever. If you do meet him, please ask him about the time he threw a hard donut all the way across the restaurant on Top Chef.
The future news that matters about Disney Springs is that we now know the identities of two future eateries. Beatrix, an Illinois institution and healthy food proprietor, will add a franchise there. Also, Ample Hills Creamery will add a second location at Disney Springs, one similar to its current ice cream shop at the BoardWalk.
Let’s End with Disney Park News
We learned exciting park updates over the past few days. I’m most excited about the one that’s farthest from now. In 2022, Walt Disney World will host the Special Olympics! Given how well Disney managed the Invictus Games in 2016, it seems like a perfect fit.
Also at Walt Disney World, Magic Kingdom’s changed the parade time again. From now through the end of ticketed event season (i.e., the end of December), cast members will perform the Festival of Fantasy Parade at 2 p.m. EST rather than its regular 3 p.m. time. Based on recent history, Disney will change it back to 3 p.m. as soon as Mickey’s Very Christmas Party ends.
The other major Walt Disney World news involves Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is now open for business at the resort! You’ll even find a character photograph area close to the store, one that doesn’t require purchase!
At Disneyland, the biggest news involves Mobile Ordering. Disney has once again expanded the lineup of participating restaurants. Even some snack joints like the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats and Mint Julep Bar are options now!
Also, my wife would kill me if I didn’t mention the special Haunted Mansion achievements. For a short time, Disney is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its spookiest, silliest ride. Guests who use the Play Disney Parks app will discover a set of four achievements that are possible. Unlocking the first three automatically earns the final one. You can check the app for additional details.
On a final note, I would like to mention The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live!. It’s a broadcast event hosted on ABC this fall.
Disney fans will love it for more than just the beautiful story, which combines elements from The Little Mermaid movie and Broadway play. I say this because the production stars Auli’i Cravalho aka Moana in the title role and Queen Latifah as Ursula. That’s pretty strong.