Catch a Sneak Peek of Disney's A Wrinkle in Time!


Disney's new feature film, A Wrinkle is time will be in theaters this March featuring Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey. This fantasy epic is based on the same titled novel by Madeleine L’Engle about an ordinary teenager named Meg who is searching for her scientist father. She seeks the help of three chimerical celestial beings who “wrinkle” time to help in her journey.  Meg learns to embrace or individuality and triumphs over her fears. 

Guests of Disney Parks will have an opportunity to preview scenes from the film in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Beginning February 9th, Disney California Adventure will present the short preview in 3D with special effects in the Sunset Showcase Theater. And, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will show advance clips from the film as part of the Walt Disney Presents attraction. Audiences will be take across dimensions of time and space, exploring the nature of darkness versus light. Guests will also get an opportunity to view the costumes used in the production of the film. 


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WDW UPdate 14


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.  

An essential part of your visit to Walt Disney World Resort is fitting Disney Springs into your schedule. Although there are no rides, there is no shortage of restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and activities for the entire family. Formally known as Downtown Disney, Disney Springs has completely renovated and added ample parking with two large garages, making your visit far more accessible and enjoyable. There are 107 shopping options, 56 restaurants, 12 ways to enjoy entertainment, and 7 activities to participate in while visiting. Here are some of the fabulous options:


  • Alex and Ani
  • Coach
  • Coca-Cola Store
  • Harley Davidson
  • Kate Spade New York
  • Sephora
  • World of Disney


  • The Boathouse
  • Earl of Sandwich
  • Frontera Cocina
  • Morimoto Asia
  • The Polite Pig
  • Raglan Road


  • AMC 24
  • House of Blues
  • Splitsville


  • Aerophile Balloon Rides
  • Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire
  • Vintage Amphicar & Italian Water Taxi Tours

Be sure to check out the Disney Springs website for a list of all the magical things you can include in your Walt Disney World vacation. 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!


Featured Events

Magic Kingdom
Disney After Hours: Jan 19, 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 (Star Wars Dark Side 10k Sold Out)

Animal Kingdom
Party for the Planet - April 2018

Disney Springs
Mother's Day Weekend - Late-April 2018 to Mid-May 2018
The Edison - Now Open!

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Spring Training 2018 for the Atlanta Braves! The dates to watch the Braves will be announced soon, so check back for more information regarding their schedule. 


Closures and Refurbishments

Animal Kingdom
Kali River Rapids - Jan 2 - Feb 4, 2018
Finding Nemo: The Musical - Feb 8 - 18, 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)

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 to Feb 2, 2018
Old Key West – Resort-wide Refreshment through 2019; Room refurbishments through Summer 2018
Pop Century – Room Refurbishments through Summer 2018; Disney Skylinerday-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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Dark Force Rising


"Under the orders of the budding rebellion, your team will travel to the molten planet of Mustafar. Your mission is to recover Imperial intelligence vital to the rebellion's survival. Alongside the pragmatic droid K-2S0, your team must navigate through an enemy facility walking into danger at every turn. Disguised as Stormtroopers, grab your blaster, solve puzzles, and fight giant lava monsters in an effort to fulfill your team's orders." 

Earlier this week the force was with me as I was given a chance to attended a sneak peek of "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire."

Each member of your team selects the color of your VR Stormtrooper before dawning your gear. It may take you a while to make sure the VR goggles and computer carrying vest fit snuggly. This equipment is incredible in your helmet you can hear your team mates, though it can be disconcerting at first to see the VR hands in front of. It is important to be semi fit for this experience. There will be need to kneel, crouch, squat, and stand. Some participants reported having a challenge walking in "the real world" after the experience. There's a skiff moment on Mustafar at the beginning of the experience – be sure to take a 360 degree look around you, it's spectacular and sets the tone for the adventure to come. If you are a Star Wars fan, the environment is familiar and you don't have to be told what to do in advance.

The experience is now open in the old Vault Disney location, tickets are $30.00 per person.

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UPdate 14




  • Splash Mountain <attraction/Critter Country> closed. Reopening TBA.
  • Haunted Mansion <attraction/New Orleans Square> closed Jan 8th - 18th to remove the holiday overlay.
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant <attraction/Fantasyland> closes Jan 8th for refurbishment. Reopening date TBA.
  • Main Street Vehicles <attraction/Main Street U.S.A.> close Jan 8th for refurbishment. Reopening date TBA.
  • "it's a small world" <attraction/Fantasyland> closes Jan 22nd to Feb 1st to remove the holiday overlay.
  • Casey Jr. Circus Train <attraction/Fantasyland> closes Feb 5th for refurbishment. Reopening date TBA.
  • Storybook Land Canal Boats <attraction/Fantasyland> closes Feb 5th for refurbishment. Reopening date TBA.

Disney California Adventure

  • Redwood Creek Challenge Trail <area/Golden State> closed for refurbishment. Reopening date TBA.
  • A Bug's Life Theater <theatre/bug's land> closes Jan 8th for a one-day refurbishment following the Coco preview. It's Tough to be a Bug! reopens Jan 9th.
  • Grizzly River Run <attraction/Golden State> closes Jan 8th - Feb 1st for refurbishment.
  • Cove Bar <eatery/Paradise Pier> closes Jan 8th as part of the Pixar Pier retheme. Reopening date TBA.

The following attractions close Jan 8th 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 Magu Tattoo
  • Don Tomas Turkey Legs
  • Hot Dog Hut
  • Ariel's Grotto
  • Cove Bar
  • Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company

Downtown Disney

  • Build-a-Bear – closes Jan 7th.
  • Ridemakerz – closes Jan 7th.
  • Vault 28 – closed. The space has been converted to Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire virtual reality offering, scheduled to open January 5.
  • Fossil – closed. The space has been converted to Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire virtual reality offering, scheduled to open January 5.

Crowd​ Impacting Events

  • Lunar New Year Festival at Disney California Adventure – Jan 26th - Feb 18th.
  • Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – Mar 2nd - Apr 12th.
  • Pixar Fest begins – Apr 13th. Debut of "Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular" fireworks show.
  • Dapper Day Spring Soiree – Apr 22nd. 
  • 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.

Happy NEWS on Earth!

End of the Holidays

The new year means the return of the APs. Holders of the Southern California pass can return on Sunday, January 7, and the SoCal Select pass is valid once more starting next Monday, January 8. This is also the final week of the Festival of Holidays and the last week before the spring refurbishments including the closing of Paradise Pier!

Last chance to see the following:Holiday Attractions

Haunted Mansion Holiday – Sunday, January 7 final day

"it's a small world" Holiday – Sunday, January 21 final day

Holiday Entertainment/FoodA Christmas Fantasy Parade – Sunday, January 7 at 3:30 p.m. final performance

"Believe...In Holiday Magic" Fireworks Spectacular – Sunday, January 7 at 9:20 p.m. final performance

Festival of Holidays – Sunday, January 7 final day

Disney ¡Viva Navidad! Street Party – Saturday, January 6 at 6:30 p.m. final performanceWorld of Color – Season of Light – Sunday, January 7 at 10:15 p.m. final performance

Paradise Pier

The following areas close January 8 as part of the Pixar Pier construction. 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 (will re-open temporarily for spring break

Paradise Pier Ice Cream Company

Downtown Disney

Build-a-Bear – Sunday, January 7.Ridemakerz – scheduled to close Sunday, January 7.

Three Kings Day

Disney California Adventure wraps up the ¡Viva Navidad! promotion with a Three Kings Day event in Paradise Gardens on January 7th. Look for children's craft areas, a display of Three Wise Men figurines, and a cart where you can purchase a slice of Rosca de Reyes (Kings bread). But eat carefully there might be a hidden surprise inside, which is said to bring good fortune to the person who finds it.

The Anaheim Hotel

The Anaheim Hotel is owned by the same folks who owned the Anabella Hotel and the old Carousel Hotel. They are making a major investment in the mid-century design of their hotel:

press releasereads

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – The Wincome Group finalizes rebranding effort on newly rated AAA-three diamond property, The Anaheim Hotel.Beginning in October of 2016 and finalizing in December 2017, the Anaheim Hotel underwent extensive renovations to its lobby, meeting and events spaces, pool, landscaping, parking lot, exterior facade, and most importantly its 303 guest rooms. Wincome Group embraced the hotel's heritage with a mid-century modern aesthetic, while maintaining the unique attributes and classic comforts that it has built its guest loyalty around. 

The rebranding initiative also included a name change, with the former Anaheim Plaza Hotel and Suites officially becoming The Anaheim Hotel in April of 2017.The Pizza Press was also part of the Anaheim Hotel's refurb effort, partnering with the hotel to provide not only their popular Pizza Press restaurant, but also a full service breakfast, in-room dining, and catering options.

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OH BOY! There's a Mickey in my Coffee!


Those who know me know this: I love Walt Disney World, art and really good coffee. So imagine how thrilled I was to come upon one of the coolest things at Disney Springs, Mickey Mouse latte art!

You can find this marvelous Mickey art (and other designs) at Tea Traders Cafe by Joffrey's at Disney Springs, Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Joffrey's Coffee and Tea Company has served delicious brews since 1984; you can find their coffee and tea throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts and parks. Their latte art is fairly unique; it is not available at most of the places that serve Joffrey's coffee, but you can count on finding it at Disney Springs!

Whether you prefer coffee or tea, here are just a handful of reasons why you should stop by Tea Traders Cafe:


I have found the Baristas to be consistently kind and courteous, which adds to the enjoyable experience when visiting Tea Traders. You will most likely be served a cheerful smile with your cup of tea here; be sure to share one back with these friendly Cast Members!


Tea Traders is located in the always festive Disney Springs across from the Boathouse Restaurant. There are so many things to appreciate about Disney Springs...the shops, food, entertainment, free parking, people watching and more! You can park for no charge at one of the easy-to-navigate parking garages, enjoy the music or other live entertainment as you walk about, then treat yourself to a chai latte or other frothy delight.


If you are a Walt Disney World passholder, you will get a discount for your purchase. There is a small charge for the design art, so the discount makes a difference. Disney Visa cardholders may also get a discount.

Coffee, Tea and Treats

Even if you opt out of the Mickey art, the coffee and tea at Tea Trader's is well worth enjoying. The company claims to use the world's best beans and I am tempted to believe it! I prefer a dark roast, but there is something for every coffee or tea drinker there, from flavored to organic blends. They offer a handful of fun snacks, too.


Yes, that's right. Walt Disney said, "All you need is a bit of magic." Stopping in to Tea Traders for a delicious Mickey latte is a perfect way to add a sprinkling of magic to your day!

I hope you get a chance to experience the friendly smiles and a steamy brew at Tea Traders Cafe. 

Have a magical day - and a Mickey in your latte!

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