Around the Mouse: Walt Disney World News, Nov 28, 2016 What’s New This Week?

Walt Disney World Theme Parks Magic Kingdom Park New! Elena of Avalor Now Meeting Guests at Fairytale Hall: Elena of Avalor – the first Disney princess inspired by diverse Latin cultures – will begin to greet guests alongside other royal friends at Princess Fairytale Hall. There, guests can choose between a meeting with Elena and Cinderella or a visit with Rapunzel and Tiana. New! Tiana’s Riverboat Party Ice Cream Social & Parade Viewing: “Tiana’s Riverboat Party Ice Cream Social & Parade Viewing” will make its debut launch on the Liberty Belle Riverboat at Magic Kingdom Park on November 29. The fun starts at the boat dock, where guests can enjoy hand-dipped ice cream and soft drinks while they visit with Princess Tiana and Naveen. Guests will then board the riverboat to enjoy an incredible birds-eye-view parade viewing for the park’s “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” and a cruise around Tom Sawyer’s Island. Princess Tiana and Naveen will join the group on the Liberty Belle Riverboat after the parade concludes for photos. Tiana’s Riverboat Party Ice Cream Social & Parade Viewing is available for $49 per adult and $29 per child age 9 and under (includes tax). Reservations can be made now by calling 407-WDW-DINE.

New! Kingdom Cabanas Now Available: Situated in an out-of-the-way area of Tomorrowland near Space Mountain, cabanas accommodate up to 8 Guests and will be available for a daily rental price of $649. Amenities include private and shaded seating, cold beverages, snacks and reserved viewing for parades and fireworks. Book by calling (407) WDW-PLAY or visiting Concierge at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

Epcot New! Epcot International Festival of the Arts Coming to Walt Disney World Resort in January 2017: A brand new event is coming to Walt Disney World Resort. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts debuts Jan. 13 – Feb. 20. It combines visual, culinary and performing arts for six colorful weekends. Art from historical and current day Disney artists will be on display as well as live viewings of the creative process in action. Music and Broadway talent will come to the America Gardens Theater stage, and guests will enjoy feasting on artistic culinary creations. The Festival will run Fridays through Mondays each week.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios New! PizzeRizzo Now Open: PizzeRizzo is now open in the Muppets Courtyard of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The two-story quick-service eatery serves up personal-sized pizza pies along with other Italian favorites—from meatball subs to tiramisu—all in a comfortable family-style setting. PizzeRizzo is open daily for lunch and dinner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom New! Pandora – The World of Avatar Opening Announced: Pandora – The World of Avatar is set to open at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in summer 2017. New experiences announced include: Satu’li Canteen, which will be the quick service restaurant in Pandora – The World of Avatar and will feature Na’vi art and cultural items; Windtraders, where travelers can find Na’vi cultural items, toys, science kits and more; and Pongu Pongu, a special drink location with a design that is as eclectic as its Expat owner. The entire Pandora – The World of Avatar land is set to open in 2017, and will transport guests to a visually stunning world complete with floating mountains and bioluminescent plants. Here, guests will be able to experience two excursions that will truly push adventure to the next level. First, the family friendly Na’vi River Journey will send guests down a sacred river hidden within a bioluminescent rainforest. Their journey will end in an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman, a figure who has a deep connection to the life force of Pandora. And second, the Avatar Flight of Passage excursion will offer the jawdropping experience of riding on a Banshee over the world of Pandora.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels New! New Amenities Coming Soon to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Disney Vacation Club accommodations formerly known as The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge have assumed a new name – Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. A sweeping re-imagination of the former Hidden Springs Pool area will help tell the richly layered backstory of Boulder Ridge. Scheduled to open in summer 2017, Boulder Ridge Cove will feature an expanded sun deck and zero-depth-entry pool in what appears to have been an abandoned rock quarry. Other renovations at the resort include a brand-new bar & grill, in addition to a quick-service restaurant.

New! Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory Reopened at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort: Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory has reopened after being reimagined, and has added even more flavors inspired by New Orleans to their menu, including jambalaya, po’ boys, gumbo, and more. Home-style favorites such as create-your-own pasta, salads and pizza are still available for lunch and dinner, in addition to new flavors inspired by New Orleans including specialty burgers Jambalaya, and Po’ Boys. For dinner, enjoy new entrees like prime rib, pork rack, roasted sustainable fish, fried chicken and BBQ ribs with your choice of sides—including Mache Choux, collard greens, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots, mac and cheese, macaroni salad and red beans and rice. New breakfast items have also been added to the menu, and include Crispy-Fried Chicken on a Biscuit with maple-bacon jam, Molasses-Cream Cheese Cinnamon Roll, Jumbo Sweet Potato Belgian Waffle topped with toasted pecans, whipped cream and apple-cranberry compote, Cajun Grit Bowl, a Breakfast Po’ Boy and more! Signature made-to-order beignets are now available with new dipping sauces, including raspberry, caramel and chicory-coffee ganache!

New! Pizza Kiosks Now at All Star Resorts: Guests at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort and Disney’s AllStar Movies Resort will be able to pick up fresh pizzas from new kiosks nightly from 7-10 p.m. Conveniently located in the bus load zone areas, Intermission Express and World Premiere Express will have limited menu items available, including cheese and pepperoni pizzas.

Walt Disney World Resort – General New! Starbright Holidays Now Officially Open at Disney Springs: “Starbright Holidays – An Intel Collaboration” officially began on November 20. You can see the nightly performances at Disney Springs at 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. from Nov. 20 – Jan 8. New! Magic Shots & Animated Magic Shots at Walt Disney World Resort: Disney PhotoPass is offering special, limited-time Magic shots and animated shots during the holiday season.

This Magic Shot is available when you visit a PhotoPass photographer at any of the following locations:

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Disney Springs: On the Village Causeway, the bridge that connects the area near The LEGO Store across the water to Rainforest Cafe Disney’s Animal Kingdom: At the entrance by the Christmas tree and any photographer location on the bridge between Oasis and Discovery Island Disney’s Hollywood Studios: On Sunset Boulevard near Reel Vogue Epcot: Under the monorail beam between the Fountain of Nations and Showcase Plaza Magic Kingdom Park: In front of Cinderella Castle

For animated shots, Sven jingles all the way into your photo when you visit the PhotoPass photographer stationed at the Disney’s Hollywood Studios Christmas tree. And, over near Tailors to the Stars on Hollywood Boulevard, you can find an Animated Magic Shot starring members of the elite Prep & Landing unit ready you. The Trolls from “Frozen” are throwing a little love your way at the entrance and in front of the Christmas tree at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Olaf is popping into an Animated Magic Shot when you visit a PhotoPass photographer at Epcot near the Fountain of Nations and Showcase Plaza topiaries. You can also retrieve a shot at Magic Kingdom Park on the Fantasyland bridge and the Liberty Square bridge. Those celebrating the season at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party can also get shots that can only be received during the party! New! MagicBand 2 Coming to Walt Disney World: A new MagicBand is coming to the Walt Disney World Resort. MagicBand 2 will feature a new design for the band itself. While the design helps make MagicBand 2 more versatile and customizable it’ll still work like the current MagicBand. You will be able to link My Disney Experience to your MagicBand 2, which can serve as a theme park ticket, access to FastPass+ selections, Disney PhotoPass card as well as a room key for Disney Resort guests. The center of the band will be able to be removed and inserted into other accessories such as a keychain or lanyard. Stay tuned for me details.

New! Atlanta Braves’ 20th Annual Spring Training Schedule at Walt Disney World Announced: For the 20th straight season, the team will hold spring training at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The Braves players begin arriving at Walt Disney World in mid-February and then open up the spring season here against the Blue Jays on Feb. 25. Tickets go on sale on Dec. 12 at, as well as through Ticketmaster outlets (800-745-3000) and at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Box Office.

Closures and Refurbishments Click here to view the latest renovations and closures at Walt Disney World Resort.