Big Disney News Announcements – Week of Feb. 19

This week was full of big news announcements.  Just about every day, there was another big announcement coming out of Disney headquarters.  Today, we were going to take a look at those announcements and see what those announcements will mean for Walt Disney World in the coming months and years.

Monday: Frozen Ever After Delayed to Summer 2016

Tuesday: New Stage Show Announced for Magic Kingdom

Wednesday: New Character Experiences to Hollywood Studios

Thursday: EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Dates Announced

FROZEN EVER AFTER

Frozen

Disney announced some documents sent out to annual passholders that Frozen Ever After will be coming to EPCOT in Summer 2016 not Spring 2016 as previously announced.  I don’t think this will have a big impact.  People will flock to this attraction and new area (which includes an Anna & Elsa meet-and-greet location) whenever it opens.  Seasonal announcements are very vague.  Summer 2016, to Disney Imagineering, could mean Memorial Day weekend which is the unofficial start of summer.  Spring 2016/Summer 2016 is really splitting hairs.  It is not like the opening has been pushed back into the fall or winter of this year.  That could have a much bigger impact.

NEW MAGIC KINGDOM STAGE SHOW

After 10 years, Dream Along with Mickey will be ending its run on the main stage at Magic Kingdom.  In its place will be a new show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire.  This new show will feature three of newest Disney princesses: Rapunzel, Tiana, Anna, and Elsa (the Snow Queen).  They will be joining Mickey and friends in a celebration of all the kingdoms far and wide.  Also joining the show will be Louis and Naveen from Princess and the Frog along with Flynn from Tangled.

Every stage show will see its run come to an end and Dream Along with Mickey had reached the end of its run after 10 years.  This new show will inject some new life into the Magic Kingdom.  Children will be able to see the princesses that saw on the movie screen in person on the big Magic Kingdom stage for the first time.  I would have added Merida to the show as well to include all of the princesses who have appeared in movies since 2006.  But that’s just my opinion.

NEW CHARACTERS TO HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Who wants a warm hug?
Who wants a warm hug?

Olaf will be coming to Hollywood Studios to give people lots of warm hugs.  Olaf was previously only at Disneyland and has a very popular meet-and-greet location.  Now, he can be met in both parks.

People have been asking for this meet-and-greet and finally Disney has delivered.  This is a plus for Hollywood Studios since it gives people something else to see.  The park is currently a shell of its former self with the Star Wars and Toy Story expansions currently under construction.  Disney needed to add something to the park and while this meet-and-greet isn’t a ride-able attractions.  It is something else to do.

Olaf isn’t the only character coming to Hollywood Studios.  Guests can walk on the red carpet and meet Silver Screen Mickey and Minnie.  So, that’s two new meet-and-greets for Hollywood Studios.  This one pays tribute to the origins of Hollywood Studios and the silver screen.  Again, not a ride-able attraction, but it’s better than nothing.

FOOD AND WINE DATES ANNOUNCED

Disney announced, yesterday, that the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival will be from September 14, 2016 to November 14, 2016.  It’s now a 62-day festival.  It, now, basically runs from when all the kids are back to school to Thanksgiving week.  There isn’t much more room to expand the dates after this year.  There isn’t much more room to expand the festival inside EPCOT.  It started to bleed into Future World in 2015.  Expansion is now longer on the table, in my opinion, going forward.

What Disney can do is starting improving on what they have in the festival.  I’m talking more registers at the booths and expanded kitchens at the existing booths to help the lines move faster.   More places for people to sit and not have to pay for the privilege to sit (way too much Chase card seating last year).  Ideally, better controls on people having too much to drink.  People should be able to have a good time but the World Showcase should not turn into a giant tailgate/frat party.

That’s the big news for the week.  As always, thanks for reading!

 

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