Disney Announces Hall of Presidents Reopening Date

The Hall of Presidents has been closed for a year-long transformation at Walt Disney World Resort.  Today Disney announced the attraction will reopen at the Magic Kingdom on Tuesday, December 19, 2017  with enhancements that will bring the story of the American presidency to life as never before.

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According to Disney Parks Blog, the show’s content has been updated and Imagineers have incorporated the latest in theatrical design and Audio-Animatronics technology.

Landmark moments in history come alive on a panoramic 180-degree screen that transports guests across more than 200 years of the American story. High-impact projection, sound, lighting and other enhancements take guests into rare and indelible moments in history that helped define a nation.

As has been the tradition with every new president since the attraction debuted, an Audio-Animatronics figure of President Donald J. Trump has been added to the show and features the latest advances in technology that enable smoother and more lifelike movements. President Trump personally recorded remarks exclusively for The Hall of Presidents, just as each sitting president has done for the attraction since the early 1990s.

Rich in innovative storytelling and tradition, The Hall of Presidents carries a legacy and passion for American history that has been part of Disney Parks for more than 50 years.

‘Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic’ Airs Tonight on Freeform

Freeform, Disney’s young adult television and streaming network, has announced that Academy Award-winning actress and “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg will host its upcoming holiday special “Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic.” Premiering DEC. 18 at 8:00 p.m. EST, with special co-hosts Disney Channel’s “Descendants” star and Hollywood Records/Republic Records recording artist Sofia Carson and “Dancing with the Stars” winner and Hollywood Records recording artist Jordan Fisher, the festive one-hour event will reveal how the holiday magic and spirit come to life as the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks and resort hotels are transformed into winter wonderlands filled with seasonal attractions, joyful entertainment, festive décor and special treats that make every day feel like a holiday. The spirit of the season shines even brighter in these magical places where families share traditions and make memories together.

“As a longtime friend of Mickey, there’s no place I’d rather spend the holidays than at the Happiest Place on Earth,” said Whoopi Goldberg. “To see the incredible work that goes into turning the parks into a winter wonderland is truly magical, and I’m so happy to be a part of it.”

From the executive producers of the “Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings” series, Ann Lewis Roberts, Simon Lythgoe and Jenny Daly, viewers will meet the dedicated team of Disney cast members and Santa’s helpers, who meticulously plan, design, build and bring to life wondrous Christmas trees, life-size gingerbread houses and much more!

“Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic,” hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, will air during Freeform’s annual “25 Days of Christmas” programming event. Now in its 21st year of bringing holiday cheer to viewers, Freeform’s 25 continuous days of holiday-themed entertainment for the whole family runs from DEC. 1–25, and viewers can ring in the season with festive specials, classic holiday movies and returning favorites.

Actor Michael Rosenbaum Visits Walt Disney World Resort

Actor Michael Rosenbaum who plays Martinex in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” recently visited Walt Disney World Resort with a big group of friends.  During his visit, Michael stopped by Disney’s Hollywood Studios to meet up with Star Lord and Baby Groot.

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“I like adrenaline, so I love Expedition Everest, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Rock’n’Roller Coaster, and we’re really excited about checking out Pandora – The World of Avatar,” said Michael Rosenbaum.

You can catch Michael hosting his own podcast, called “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum,” where actors, athletes and musicians share where they came from and how they became successful. He recently interviewed “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn and co-star Michael Rooker, who played Yondu.

Disney Announces New Details for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Over the weekend, Disney shared more details about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during the Star Wars: Galactic Nights panel. During this event, Imagineers Scott Trowbridge, Robin Reardon, Chris Beatty, and Doug Chiang from Lucasfilm, revealed a photo of the inside of the Millennium Falcon.

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Additionally, Doug highlighted some other examples of the team’s progress, including building a fleet of full-size X-wing starfighters.

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According to Disney Parks Blog, the team also discussed the depth of storytelling you can find in this remote outpost. Chris shared some of his experiences researching the exotic markets of Istanbul and Marrakech. They were a great source of inspiration for the marketplace in the village where we can explore a rich collection of shops and merchant stalls  Here’s a piece of concept art for what the toy stall will look like.

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Inside, you’ll be able to discover all kinds of fun and cool toys straight out of the Star Wars galaxy. Exclusive to this outpost, all these offerings look hand-crafted by local artisans.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland Park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2019.

What’s Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in 2018

From a toy-inspired land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to a milestone year for Disney’s Animal Kingdom to exciting additions at Disney Springs to an encore year for an Epcot festival, there’s plenty in store for guests to Walt Disney World Resort – and beyond – in 2018.

Here’s a look around:

Toy Story Land Comes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In summer 2018 Disney unwraps a joyful, toy-full surprise for its guests with the opening of the all-new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Stepping into their favorite Pixar blockbuster films, guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of a toy as they play in Andy’s backyard with their favorite Toy Story pals, including Woody and Buzz. Using toys like building blocks, plastic buckets and shovels and game board pieces, Andy has designed the perfect setting for this land. This new 11-acre play space will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite:

  • Inspired by the playful dachshund spinoff of Slinky, the American toy classic, Slinky Dog Dash will be a family-style coaster that will send riders dipping, dodging and dashing around turns and drops that Andy has created to stretch Slinky and his coils to the max.
  • Bathed in music, lighting and sound effects, Alien Swirling Saucers is designed as a play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first “Toy Story” film. Famous little green aliens from the movie are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
  • A third track has recently been added to the hugely popular Toy Story Mania!, which invites guests to take aim at 3D objects in a variety of whimsical, fast-paced games.

When it’s time for refreshment, Woody’s Lunch Box will be a new quick-service window serving tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats. Walt Disney World Resort will collaborate with Mini Babybel to bring Woody’s Lunch Box to life.

New Dining and Entertainment at Disney Springs

Eight new dining concepts debut at Disney Springs in 2018, joining the stellar line-up of award-winning restaurants at this one-of-a-kind retail, dining and entertainment complex:

Opening this winter, The Edison is a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature live entertainment, including cabaret. Adjacent to The Edison guests will enjoy a trio of modern Italian restaurant and bar concepts. Maria & Enzo’s will be an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily. Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and offer hearty Roman dishes. Pizza Ponte will be the perfect place for a quick bite, with pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches and espresso on the menu.

Chicago-based Levy Restaurants introduces Terralina Crafted Italian with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano. The new restaurant will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.

In spring 2018, Master Sommelier George Miliotes will bring his expertise to Disney Springs with Wine Bar George. With more than 100 wine selections by the bottle and glass, Miliotes will serve up wine education along with shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie.

Other openings slated for 2018 at Disney Springs include Jaleo, a Spanish concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup, and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, a modern concept inspired by laid-back California dining.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Celebrates 20 Years

Majestic in its grandeur and showcasing the magic of nature with inhabitants that roam, run, crawl, fly, slither and swim; Disney’s Animal Kingdom will mark its 20th anniversary in 2018.

The vast, 500-acre park is Disney’s largest, providing a grand stage for the celebration of the world of animals and their natural habitats. Live creatures from mite-sized to mammoth call Disney’s Animal Kingdom home. Lush landscaping, Broadway-quality live shows, conservation themes and rides, attractions and adventures for all ages complete the scene.

As the park continued to evolve, it added a distant moon in 2017. Pandora–The World of Avatar transports guests to a mystical world of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and breathtaking new experiences. Inspired by the blockbuster motion picture, AVATAR, the new land invites guests to explore a glowing landscape, encounter a larger-than-life Na’vi shaman and soar on the back of a fearsome banshee.

And debuting just in time for the park’s 20th anniversary is a new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney•Pixar’s film “UP” This new experience will offer guests the chance to see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater in Anandapur Village. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures.

An Expanded Festival of the Arts at Epcot

Returning to Epcot for a second year, the expanded Epcot International Festival of the Arts will celebrate all things art – performing, visual and culinary – from January 12 to February 19 – with festivities running seven days a week and Disney on Broadway performing each weekend (Fridays through Mondays) throughout the festival.

Guests can kick off 2018 with world-class cuisine, remarkable visual art and an extraordinary lineup of live entertainment. Festival highlights:

  • Seminars and workshops from top Disney, local and nationally-renowned artists including classes on drawing animation, photography and the art of making topiaries
  • More than a half a dozen specially-created food studios offering a wealth of “artistic” culinary delights
  • A host of performing artists that build on the already stellar lineup of authentic Epcot performers
  • An encore performance of the Disney on Broadway series featuring Disney on Broadway stars singing favorite songs from award-winning Broadway shows.

Another returning favorite is Disney on Broadway dining packages, where guests can pair a meal at one of the participating Epcot restaurants with priority seating for the Disney on Broadway concert series.

For more information on the festival visit www.disneyworld.com/ArtfulEpcot or call 407-WDW-DINE (3463).

New Multi-Use Venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

ESPN Wide World of Sports will open a new multi-use sports and entertainment venue in 2018. It will seat more than 8,000 guests and have the ability to host six regulation basketball courts, six regulation volleyball courts or concert configurations. For cheer and dance events, it will accommodate performance and warm-up space and include a flexible design for one large competition space that can be set up for as many as four competition areas. Additional areas can be tailored for warm-up and practice, along with areas for judges and officials. There will be concessions throughout the building, and additional box office and entry to the complex.

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