WDW UPdate 17




It’s Disney Elite's weekly UPdate to ensure your trip to Walt Disney World is that Magical vacation you've been dreaming of! We have provided the most up-to-date information for events at all the Parks, as well as any closures or refurbishments to be aware of during your visit.  

Disney World has you and your sweetheart covered for Valentine’s day if you’re looking to do something special with the one you love.  Senses - A Disney Spa, located at both the Grand Floridian and Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa, are offering the “Part of Your World” couples package. It includes a couple’s massage, a chocolate hand-hydration treatment, sparkling wine served in a chocolate champagne glass, and a special take-home gift of blended bath salts. The package is available from February 10-18, 2018. The price per couple, with gratuity included, is $340 for 50 minutes, and $450 for 80 minutes. Disney Vacation Club members receive a 15% discount! 

How about a romantic ride on a horse-drawn carriage? Ride through the rustic beauty along charming pathways and the banks of the Sassagoula River in Disney's Port Orleans Resort. Or, take a ride through the lush pine and cypress forest where wildlife roams at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort. Reservations are recommended and can be made 180 days in advance.

Thinking about popping the question on the most romantic day of the year? Disney Weddings has a variety of perfect romantic settings for every couple. Disney will handle all of the behind-the-scenes preparations from romantic to whimsical. You can propose to the one you love by the Tree of Life in Animal Kingdom, on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Studios, or even at Cinderella's Royal Table in Magic Kingdom. Need an engagement ring? See the Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry collection of elegantly designed rings for the modern bride inspired by both classic and recent Disney princesses. Check out Disney's Wedding Blog for ideas from those who celebrated their love by becoming engaged at Walt Disney World. 

If you want additional help planning your vacation or romantic getaway, visit the My Disney Experience website to create your dream vacation with a day-to-day planning guide. Don't forget to download the free mobile app to use on the go while at the parks. Use this Magical app to check the wait-times for all the attractions, make dining reservations, get your Fast Passes, and more! There is an interactive map to help guide you through the Parks. Please remember to visit Walt Disney World's website for the latest updates as your vacation approaches. Share your vacation plans with us or ask questions you may have on our discussion boards here at Disney Elite!


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World of Disney is Getting a New Look!


The world’s largest Disney character store is getting a makeover. World of Disney, a 50,000 square foot complex located in Disney Springs, will be moving portions of their inventory to a location in the Town Center section while it undergoes renovations—theme sections such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars will be relocated, leaving the general Disney brands intact. With the recent expansion of Disney Springs, the new store fronts and restaurants reflect a more opulent atmosphere than that of the twenty-something World of Disney. We look forward to seeing its completion by the holidays.

World of Disney opened its doors in October of 1996 in what was then called the, Disney Village. The first Disney retail store was opened almost ten years earlier in the Glendale Galleria located in Glendale, California. Disney also offers their Disney themed merchandise online at ShopDisney.com.

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Animal Kingdom Welcomes a Big Bundle of Joy!


Animal Kingdom welcomes a new baby—a Nile hippopotamus! Born on January 13th at 10:00 pm, this is the first hippo birth in the park in 13 years. Tuma and her baby calf are doing well and have been given plenty of room to bond. This will slightly delay the opportunity to discover the calf’s gender and weight—which is typically between 60 to 110 pounds. Disney’s highly-trained animal care experts have been preparing for months for the latest arrival. Henry, Tuma’s mate, was chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan, overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Nile hippopotamus has been subject to a declining population and this marks an important contribution to animal conservation. If you’d like to know more about hippos, check out DisneyAnimals.com

Guests will be able to fall in love with the newest edition to the herd with a closer look on a Kilimanjaro Safari or the Wild Africa Trek.


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WDW UPdate 16

Minnie Mouse



Here is Disney Elite's weekly UPdate to ensure your trip to Walt Disney World is that Magical vacation you've been dreaming of! We have provided the most up-to-date information for events at all the Parks, as well as any closures or refurbishments to be aware of during your visit.  

For those Minnie Mouse fans, Disney is offering fashionable new ways to Rock the Dots! Starting January 22nd, National Polka-Dot Day, Walt Disney World and Disneyland will introduce new merchandise for the Minnie Mouse fashionista in you. The new merchandise includes fan favorites such as sequin-filled headbands, or the classic Minnie Mouse dress from the Dress Shop collection. Some items are offered for a limited time and can be purchase at Shop Disney, however most can be purchased while visiting the parks. 

If you want additional help planning your vacation, visit the My Disney Experience website to create your dream vacation with a day-to-day planning guide. Don't forget to download the free mobile app to use on the go while at the parks. Use this Magical app to check the wait-times for all the attractions, make dining reservations, get your Fast Passes, and more! There is an interactive map to help guide you through the Parks. Please remember to visit Walt Disney World's website for the latest updates as your vacation approaches. Share your vacation plans with us or ask questions you may have on our discussion boards here at Disney Elite!



Magic Kingdom

Disney After Hours: Jan 26, 30; Feb 8, 15; Mar 1, 8, 2018



Disney Princess Half-Marathon Weekend: Feb 23-25, 2018 

International Flower & Garden Festival: Feb 28 - May 28, 2018 

International Festival of the Arts: Jan 19 - Feb 19, 2018

Disney on Broadway Concert Series Dining Package: Jan 12 - Feb 19, 2018 (Reservations available now.)

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall - Norway

Biergarten Restaurant - Germany

Coral Reef Restaurant - The Living Seas Pavilion

The Garden Grill Restaurant - The Land Pavilion 

Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room - United Kingdom

Star Wars Half Marathon - The Dark Side: April 19 - 22, 2018 (10k and 5k Run Sold Out)

Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend - Nov 1-4, 2018 (Registration begins March 13, 2018)


Disney's Animal Kingdom

Party for the Planet - April 2018


Disney Springs

Mother's Day Weekend - Late-April 2018 to Mid-May 2018

Father's Day Weekend - June 2018

The Edison - Now Open!

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire - Hyper-Reality Experience is now open! See video below!


ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Spring Training 2018 for the Atlanta Braves! Click here for the Braves training schedule throughout February and March. 



Disney's Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids - Jan 2 - Feb 4, 2018

Finding Nemo: The Musical - Feb 8 - 25, 2018

Flights of Wonder - Closed permanently


Magic Kingdom

Cinderella's Royal Table - Feb 28 - Mar 3, 2018

Liberty Square Riverboat - Jan 8 - Jun 28, 2018

Pirates of the Caribbean - Feb 26 - Mar 18, 2018

Splash Mountain - Jan 9 - Feb 1, 2018 

Stitch's Great Escape - Jan 7 (seasonal)



The American Adventure - Jan 15 - Feb 15, 2018

The Circle of Life - Final show Feb 3, 2018


Disney Springs

Cirque du Soleil - La Nouba - Permanently closed


Typhoon Lagoon 

Entire park - Jan 7 - Mar 18, 2018


Resort Hotels

All Star Movies Resort - The Duck Pond Leisure Pool undergoing refurbishment Jan 2 to Spring 2018.

All Star Music Resort - The Calypso Pool undergoing refurbishment late Feb to March 2018.

Animal Kingdom Lodge: Kidani Village - The Samawati Springs Pool will be undergoing refurbishment mid-to-late Jan 2018.

Art of Animation – Ongoing day-time construction of Disney Skyliner.

Caribbean Beach – Old Port Royale Redesign through Fall 2018; Disney Skyliner day-time construction.

Coronado Springs – Room Refurbishments through summer 2019.

Grand Floridian - Beach Pool and Beaches Pool Bar closed for refurbishment Nov 20, 2017 until Spring 2018.

Old Key West – Resort-wide Refreshment through 2019; Room refurbishments through Summer 2018.

Pop Century – Room Refurbishments through Summer 2018; Disney Skyliner day-time construction.

Port Orleans: French Quarter - Room refurbishments Jan through late Spring 2018.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa - High Rock Springs Pool and Paddock Pool undergoing refurbishments until mid-Feb 2018.

Wilderness Lodge - Copper Creek Springs Pool undergoing refurbishments in Feb 2018.

Yacht Club – The Convention Center will be undergoing expansion work until Winter 2018.


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DLR UPdate 17





Image result for disneyland dumbo the flying elephant

  • Splash Mountain <attraction/Critter Country> Closed for refurbishment, reopens Apr 14th.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant <attraction/Fantasyland>  Closed for refurbishment, reopens Apr 27th.
  • Main Street Vehicles <attraction/Main Street U.S.A.> Closed for refurbishment, reopens Mar 15th
  • "it's a small world"  <attraction/Fantasyland> Closed to remove the holiday overlay, reopens Feb 1st.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train <attraction/Fantasyland> Closes Feb 5th for refurbishment, reopening date TBA.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats <attraction/Fantasyland> Closes Feb 5th–15th for refurbishment.


Disney's California Adventure

  • The Golden Zephyr <attraction/Paradise Garden> Closed for refurbishment, reopens Jan 25th.
  • The lockers in Disney California Adventure are currently closed for replacement. Lockers are still available outside the park entrance.
  • The Bakery Tour <attraction/Pacific Wharf> Closed for refurbishment, reopens Feb 2nd.
  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail <attraction/Grizzly Peak> Closed for refurbishment, reopening date TDA.
  • Grizzly River Run <attraction/Grizzly Peak> Closed for refurbishment, reopens Feb 1st.
  • Cove Bar – Closed as part of the Pixar Pier retheme. The location will temporarily reopen in April during Spring Break.

The following attractions are closed as part of the Pixar Pier retheme. No reopening date is available at this time, and most of the locations will have new names when they return:

  • Games of the Boardwalk
  • California Screamin'
  • Mickey's Fun Wheel
  • Boardwalk Bazaar
  • Sideshow Shirts
  • Treasures in Paradise
  • Point Mugu Tattoo
  • Don Tomas Turkey Legs
  • Hot Dog Hut
  • Ariel's Grotto
  • Cove Bar
  • Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company


Crowd Impacting Events 

 Image result for DCA Lunar new year 2018

**The 2018 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center this Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, January 27. This is the largest convention hosted in the Disneyland Resort area. Expect some convention-related crowds next weekend as a result.**

  • Lunar New Year Festival at Disney's California Adventure – Jan 26th through Feb 18th
  • Disney's California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – Mar 2nd through Apr 12th
  • Pixar Fest begins – Apr 13th. Debut of the new "Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular" fireworks show, as well as the first performances of the Paint the Night Parade in Disney's California Adventure, and Pixar Play Parade in Disneyland.
  • Dapper Day Spring Soiree – Apr 22nd. More information at the event website.
  • 2018 Grad Nites: May 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 18th, 19th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th; Jun 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th
  • Moonlight Magic after-hours event for Disney Vacation Club members – Nov 15th. Reservations open Oct 4th.
  • CHOC Walk – Aug 26th






Happiest NEWS on Earth!


For the First Time in Forever

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No snow, no diamonds, and no plastic! For the first time since 2014 we now see the turret roofs. This may not be the biggest or most ornate of the Disney castles but it is my favorite and, of course, the flagship of the company. Since the Disneyland TV show in 1954 Sleeping Beauty's Castle has made children's hearts sing and given adults goosebumps. Walking over the working draw-bridge (which has only official been used 3 times) and hearing "When You Wish Upon a Star" is a right of passage for millions of people over the last 63 years!


Happy New Year!

Image result for lunar new year pluto, goofy disneyland

The Year of the Dog begins this Friday, Jan. 26th, with return of the Lunar New Year festival at Disney California Adventure Park. The event includes food offerings from a collection of restaurants, themed decorations in the Paradise Gardens area, a street festival with Mulan and Mushu, and a pre-show to the World of Color. 

Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession

A colorful performance held in Paradise Garden. Mulan and Mushu preside over this processional, which features dancers, acrobats, and drummers. There is a fairly small viewing area available here, so you'll want to make sure to arrive early enough to claim a good spot. Check performance times on the Disneyland website before you go, or check the Times Guide or Disneyland app once you're in the park.

Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration

This World of Color pre-show is presented nightly.


Lunar New Year Marketplaces

Korea Marketplace (The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure)

  • Kimchi Bokkeumbap – vegetable fried rice
  • Yachae Mandu – steamed vegetable dumpling with sesame-garlic soy sauce
  • Yang Gaeng – sweet red bean and raspberry jelly
  • Banana Ooyu – non-alcoholic banana milk
  • Mae Shil Ju – plum wine cocktail
  • Hite Pale Lager

China Marketplace (Golden Zephyr)

  • Xiao Long Bao – pork soup dumplings with black vinegar and ginger
  • Sanbeiji – three-cup chicken
  • Dan Ta – egg tart dessert
  • Wuxiang Huasheng Tang – five-spiced peanut brittle
  • Baixiangguo Lucha – passion fruit green iced tea with lychee popping pearls (non-alcoholic)
  • Tsingtao Lager

Vietnam Marketplace (Golden Zephyr)

  • Banh Chu’ng – sticky rice cake with pork
  • Chao Tom – sugar cane shrimp skewer with sweet and sour sauce
  • Banh Khoai Lang Tim – purple sweet potato macaron
  • Ca Phe Sua Da – Vietnamese iced coffee (non-alcoholic)

Paradise Gardens Cart

  • Zhurou Bao – steamed bao filled with pork and served with sweet chili dipping sauce
  • Xìngren Qu Qi – three mini almond cookies

Paradise Garden Grill

  • Ca Ro Phi Chien Gion – whole crispy tilapia with chili-lime vinaigrette served family-style with soup, vegetables and rice
  • Japchae – sweet potato noodles, onions, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, spinach, snow peas, broccolini, and lightly sauteed tofu tossed with sesame oil and sweet and spicy sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds
  • Galbi – short ribs marinated and grilled Korean-style and served with steamed rice and kimchi
  • Pho Bo – beef noodle soup with seasoned beef stock, thinly sliced tri-tip and rice noodles with classic accompaniments of onion, jalapeno, basil-lime and hot sauce
  • Banh Mi Thit Nuong – marinated pork belly, pickled carrots and daikon with cucumber, cilantro, seasoned mayonnaise and jalapeno on a crispy baguette
  • Mango Pudding
  • Almond Milk Black Iced Tea with Pudding (non-alcoholic)
  • Black Beer Stout



Walk for the Children of CHOC

Image result for CHOC walk 2018

Children's Hospital of Orange County asks you to Save the Date for the 2018 CHOC Walk, which returns to the Disneyland Resort on Sunday, August 26.

This event is the largest fund raiser of the year for the hospital, and draws thousands of people to the Disneyland Resort during the for a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) walk through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Registration opens later this spring.




Outside the Berm



Iconic Toon, Finally Gets a Star of Her Own

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She may be turning 90, but film, TV and fashion icon Minnie Mouse is as em vogue as ever.

She has a starring role on a Disney Channel show, tirelessly greets fans at Disney Parks around the world, and has inspired top fashion designers well into her octogenarian years. She is a licensing powerhouse. And on Jan. 22, she received her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Minnie’s forever sweetheart, Mickey Mouse, was at her side when she received the honor. Mickey was the first cartoon character to get a star in 1978, when he was 50, and was later joined by other Disney characters. 

Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger and singer Katy Perry spoke at the 11:30 a.m. PST ceremony in front of the Disney's El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

"After 90 years of serving LOOKS & smiles as the polka dot queen, it's time she got that recognition!'' Perry tweeted. The star is the 2,627th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars. The ceremony was livestreamed on walkoffame.com.

Minnie Mouse was part of the first animated film featuring Mickey Mouse, "Steamboat Willie,'' which was released in 1928. This means Minnie's star is for the Motion Picture category. Minnie Mouse is known for her polka dot attire and the ceremony coincides with National Polka Dot Day!

Image result for minnie mouse star hollywood



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