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Showing posts from November, 2015

New Shop Selling Props Opens at Universal Studios Florida

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Theme park (and movie) fans will be glad to hear that a new store selling some really interesting movie-themed props recently opened at Universal Studios.
Williams of Hollywood was formerly known as a location where a short Magic Show used to be performed in front of a small audience that would afterward be invited to check out some merchandise. Now, the store sells many unique items, some of which were used in old Universal Studios attractions (such as Twister).

Samsung Pay Through MST Not Available at Disney Parks

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Back in 2014, contactless payment launched at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts as a new form of payment for Guests to use via their mobile device. Contactless payment is currently accepted at the Walt Disney World Resort in select locations. Since the launch of contactless payment, a variety of applications have been introduced to the market, including Apple Pay, Google Wallet, as well as one of the most recent applications, Samsung Pay. 

Roadwork Near Disney's All-Star Resort Begins Tomorrow

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Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort should note that multiple roadways around property have been temporarily modified or have been partially closed due to different projects that will ultimately result in creating a better traffic flow.
Beginning Nov. 30, Buena Vista Dr. southbound will be closed at the All-Star Music exit road. Buses traveling to All-Star Movies will enter at the Music exit. Flag-men will be positioned at the intersection to assist in redirecting traffic.

Theme Park Characters Visit Give Kids the World Village

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Every day at all the Disney Parks found around the world, the Disney characters create happiness for Guests. From character greetings to parades, live shows and more, these experiences bring beloved stories to life in storybook settings.
Disney characters have also been known to visit the surrounding communities; in fact, the Walt Disney World Resort acts on a special outreach opportunity to bring its characters to Give Kids the World Village, located in Kissimmee.

Disney Springs Update: Town Center Takes Shape (Part 1)

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The Disney Springs entertainment district continues to expand at a very fast pace at the Walt Disney World Resort. New restaurants and stores are opening almost every month (Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar, the BOATHOUSEMorimoto Asia, and the expanded World of Disney store are just a few examples), roads get widened, new themed elements are installed, and more. Undoubtedly, the heart of this project is the Town Center, Disney Springs' largest themed section.

Disney Springs Update: Town Center Takes Shape (Part 2)

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Welcome to our newest Disney Springs photo-report, OTPN Readers. Be sure to check out PART 1 of this update if you haven't already done so. In the previous part of this update we checked out the progress that has been done in the past few weeks in the Town Center area of Disney Springs, as well as a small section of The Landing. Now we will continue to take a look around The Landing, the back section of the Town Center, and the Marketplace.

Special Shopping Event for Busch Gardens Pass Members

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For a limited time only, Busch Gardens Tampa's annual pass members will be able to save up to 65% on merchandise during an exclusive shopping event.
Between December 5 and December 13, Guests can bring their Busch Gardens Pass to the Egypt games area to access this special discount on gifts including toys, backpacks, coffee mugs, photo frames, and more! Busch Gardens Tampa Fun Cards are not included in this sale, and no additional discounts apply.

Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks Opening December 12

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The new Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is set to join the line-up of unique and specialty food offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park when it officially opens to park Guests in Asia on Saturday, December 12, 2015.
The location will offer grab-and-go snacks along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to climbers and travelers making their way around the base of the foreboding Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

New Acoustic Group "Quickstep" Starts Performing at Epcot

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As most Guests visiting Epcot already know, live entertainment is certainly an integral part of World Showcase, immersing Guests in the diverse cultures of the nations represented at this amazing park. To keep entertainment at Epcot fresh and present Guests with new experiences, a new acoustic group was recently added to the show lineup. The new Quickstep group performs every Wednesday to Sunday, along Tudor Lane at the United Kingdom pavilion.

Emeril’s Tchoup Chop Offering Three-Course Meal for $35

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Now through the end of the year, Emeril’s Tchoup Chop, the very popular table-service restaurant located at Loews Royal Pacific Resort, will offer a 3-course meal for just $35 (Gratuity and tax not included. No substitutions) every evening from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Dining Guests will be able to select one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert. Continue reading for a list of the menu selections that are currently included in this special offer (subject to change):

Guest Pool Refurbishments at Disney's Pop Century Resort

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Guests planning on visiting Disney's Pop Century Resort in the next few weeks should note that the Computer Pool will be closed for a short refurbishment from Monday, November 30 until Thursday, December 3. Additionally, the Bowling Pin Pool (also found at the Pop Century Resort) will be closed for refurbishment from Monday, December 7 until Thursday, December 10, 2015. During these short refurbishments, Guests will still be able to use the Hippy Dippy Pool.

Animal Kingdom: Rivers of Light Construction Update

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While there is a lot going on inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park (as you can see from the pictures featured in our last update), the Rivers of Light nighttime show continues to be one of the most intriguing projects, as it will help in completely changing the way Guests see this amazing theme park. In fact, we are sure most people would love to spend more time inside this wonderfully-themed environment after dark, and this show will surely reinforce this notion.

New Dynamic Attractions Development Center Opens Soon

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Dynamic Attractions, a leader in media-based attractions for major theme parks, is expanding with a new office in Orlando and an ‘industry first’ service called "Unlimited Attractions." This announcement was made at the 2015 International Attractions and Amusement Parks Association (IAAPA) convention in Orlando. This is a new service that integrates all the elements that turn a ‘ride’ into an ‘attraction’: story concepts, lighting, scenery, media, and special effects


Enchanted Tales with Belle No Longer Open During EMH

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Guests that are planning on taking advantage of the great Extra Magic Hours offering (available only to Guests staying on property) should note that, starting Sunday, November 29, Enchanted Tales with Belle (the elaborate character greeting area located in the Fantasyland Forest at the Magic Kingdom Park) will no longer be available during evening Extra Magic Hours. Guests will be able to visit the attraction during regular operating hours, from park opening to closing.

Epcot: Sunshine Seasons Ending Breakfast Service in 2016

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After getting in touch with several reliable sources, Orlando Theme Park News was able to confirm that Sunshine Seasons (a quick-service restaurant located on the bottom floor of The Land pavilion at Epcot) will cease offering breakfast starting from early January 2016. The restaurant's new hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., which will be extended to 11 p.m. on Extra Magic Hours evenings.
The nearby Garden Grill restaurant will continue to offer a breakfast buffet daily.

Hand Gesture Technology Coming to LEGOLAND Parks

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With just a wave of their hands, guests visiting select LEGOLAND theme parks around the world will be able to throw lightning bolts, move shockwaves, send ice soaring, and emit fire balls with cutting-edge technology demonstrated by Triotech (world leader in media-based interactive attractions) at the 2015 IAAPA Expo in Orlando. The technology will be introduced in the new NINJAGO: The Ride opening in 2016 at LEGOLAND parks in California, Billund, and Malaysia.

Hollywood Studios Update: Rehabs and Changes (PART 1)

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As the park gets ready to expand, multiple areas of Disney's Hollywood Studios continue to receive attention to add more capacity to existing venues or just to improve the overall look of some structures. As you will see in this update (it has been a while since we posted a three-part photo-report), the outdoor dining area located along Sunset Blvd. was just refurbished, the sign of the new Star Wars Launch Bay was installed, and a few other areas received minor additions.

Hollywood Studios Update: Rehabs and Changes (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our newest Disney's Hollywood Studios photo-report. Be sure to also check out PART 1 if you haven't already done so. In the previous part, we took a look around the beautiful Hollywood Boulevard, the Center Stage (hub) area, as well as a section of Sunset Boulevard. Let's now continue to take a look around the area; after that, we will move on to Animation Courtyard, which includes the new Star Wars Launch Bay.

Hollywood Studios Update: Rehabs and Changes (PART 3)

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Welcome to the third and final part of our latest Hollywood Studios photo-report. Be sure to also check out PART 2 of this update, which can be found here. Previously, we concluded our tour of Sunset Boulevard and we moved on to Animation Courtyard. We will now continue to check out the remaining areas of the park, including Pixar Place, the Streets of America, and Echo Lake (where the new Jedi Training stage is currently being built). Enjoy the photos.

World of Disney Expansion Project Completed (PHOTOS)

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The largest Disney shop in the world (The World of Disney, located at Disney Springs) was recently expanded, making it more convenient for Guests to shop.
The 6,000-foot expansion includes wider aisles, centralized check-out locations, three additional rooms, updated merchandise displays and ceiling murals with classic Disney and Pixar characters. The store also features a fresh look with creative window displays as well as colorful, new costumes for Cast Members.  

New Zendaya Wax Figure Coming to Madame Tussauds

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On November 23, Zendaya returned to the San Francisco Bay Area to unveil two brand new wax figures from Madame Tussauds. Styled to reflect Zendaya’s appearances at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards and the 2014 BMI Hip Hop R&B Awards, one figure will remain in Madame Tussauds San Francisco, while the other will be featured at Madame Tussauds Orlando. Zendaya is best known for her starring role as K.C. Cooper in Disney Channels’ “K.C. Undercover.”

Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom Park Hours Extended

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Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort should keep in mind that Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be extending operating hours today (Tuesday, Nov. 24) and Wednesday, Nov. 25 to close at 9:30 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. as originally scheduled. Additionally, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be extending operating hours Friday, December 4 to close at 9 p.m. and Saturday, December 5 to close at 9:30 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. as previously scheduled.

Canadian Lumberjacks Show Leaving Epcot November 25

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According to a message posted on the official Twitter page of one of the show's performers, the very last performance of the Canadian Lumberjacks (a live show that takes place daily on the Canadian Mills Stage at Epcot) will be taking place today (Tuesday, November 2015) at 6:15 p.m. A seasonal show will replace the Canadian Lumberjacks beginning from November 27 until the end of December 2015. It is unclear what new entertainment offering will be added in the future.

SeaWorld Announces Exclusive "Blue Friday" Park Deals

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SeaWorld Orlando released details today on the return of its highly anticipated “Blue Friday” deals providing shoppers with special pricing on exclusive park experiences and admission to SeaWorld and Aquatica, SeaWorld’s Waterpark.
Blue Friday deals provide the best value to experience SeaWorld’s parks during these last few months of 2015 and allow the fun to continue throughout 2016, including all of SeaWorld’s upcoming special festivals and concerts.

Animal Kingdom Update: Pandora's Mountains Take Shape

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There's always excitement in the air when we visit Disney's Animal Kingdom.
While no rides have still been added to the park since the opening of Expedition Everest, this once-dormant park continues to surprise us with a plethora of new entertainment offerings and dining locations, all of which are certainly needed. In fact, a new table-service restaurant and two other quick-service locations are currently under construction, while more than four new "shows" will debut soon.

More Star Wars Experiences Coming to Hollywood Studios

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As previously announced, starting from December 1, 2015, Disney’s Hollywood Studios Guests will be able to enjoy more Star Wars experiences every day with Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Star Wars Launch Bay, “Star Wars: Path of the Jedi.” In addition to that, the new Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show will open in early December, and even more new experiences will debut at the beginning of next year, including new street entertainment and a firework show.

Universal Studios Update: Walls Around Twister, Disaster

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As many already know, two of the remaining attractions that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how movies are made recently closed at Universal Studios.
Temporary walls now surround Twister (formerly located in the New York City themed backlot of the park) as the attraction morphs into a completely new experience hosted by Jimmy Fallon. Nearby, Disaster also closed some months ago to make way for a new Fast & Furious-themed adventure.

Flower & Garden Festival Expanding to 90 Days in 2016

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To celebrate its 23rd year, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival will expand to 90 days and run from March 2-May 30, 2016, at Walt Disney World Resort. In previous years, the popular spring festival ran for 75 days.
Fresh farm market flavors at the festival’s many Outdoor Kitchens, new Disney character topiaries, interactive play gardens, and live rockin’ music will shower spring surprises on Guests visiting the park during this special time of the year.

Tiffins Restaurant to Open at Animal Kingdom Spring 2016

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As part of the largest expansion in the park's history, Disney's Animal Kingdom will be adding a new signature table-service restaurant on Discovery Island, next to Pizzafari. Celebrating the art of traveling, Tiffins will feature a diverse menu drawing from places that inspired the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Open for both lunch and dinner (breakfast might be offered later on), Tiffins will include waterfront views from comfortable indoor and outdoor seating areas.

Kennedy Space Center Updates (November & December)

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Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will host numerous events in the next few weeks. First of all, Guests will be able to experience the stunning sights and powerful sounds of an evening Atlas V rocket launch on Thursday, December 3 at 5:55 p.m., with two exclusive launch viewing locations from which to choose.
The Atlas V rocket will carry the second Cygnus cargo mission, transporting approximately 7,700 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. 

Disney Parks Entertainment Honored with Industry Awards

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On Tuesday, November 17, 2015, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) announced their annual Thea Award winners. TEA has honored the “Paint the Night” Parade (featured at Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland in California) with the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement – Parade Spectacular.
“Paint the Night” brings Disney’s electrical parade legacy into the 21st century with innovative floats, vibrant costumes, dazzling special effects, and more.

Riverside Depot Shop Opening Soon at Animal Kingdom

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The Walt Disney World Resort has confirmed that the Riverside Depot store will officially open to Guests on Discovery Island on Tuesday, December 8, 2015.
The new 4,700 square foot merchandise location (which will be connected to Disney Outfitters) will be themed to the animals discovered in and around rivers, and will be the place Guests can get Disney character gifts and souvenirs. After the end of the year, the nearby Disney Outfitters will close for refurbishment.

SeaWorld Orlando Returns 128-pound Sea Turtle to Ocean

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On the morning of November 19, 2015, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned a 128-pound loggerhead sea turtle measuring 30.4 inches long to Canaveral National Seashore’s Playalinda Beach. The large sea turtle (which took three people to carry) energetically crawled into the ocean once placed on the sand. The loggerhead sea turtle was rescued in Cape Canaveral on March 12 after being discovered beached, emaciated, and covered in barnacles. 

Typhoon Lagoon to Remain Closed on November 23, 2015

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The Walt Disney World Resort has confirmed that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed on Monday, November 23, 2015 due to forecasted low temperatures. Disney's Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland miniature golf courses will be open. As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park is currently closed for refurbishment and is scheduled to reopen in January 2016. Be sure to check back here on OTPN for additional news and updates.

Flights of Wonder Show to Start Offering FastPass+ Service

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As a way to give Guests even more opportunities to pre-plan experiences for their visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the park will add another offering to the FastPass+ inventory. Starting from Wednesday, November 25, Guests will be able to select Flights of Wonder as one of their three experiences. This highly rated show (which can be found along the walkway connecting Africa and Asia) uniquely combines live animals and conservation messages with a little humor.

Live-Action Experience Coming to Kennedy Space Center

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Future generations of space explorers will be engaged and inspired like never before as Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex introduces a new, interactive, live-action game experience – Cosmic Quest – in February 2016. Cosmic Quest promises to immerse young guests, known as “trainees,” in a variety of STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) space adventures while educating them about NASA’s current and future space exploration endeavors.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Hours Extended Next Week

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In order to ensure our Guests have the best possible experience, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be extending operating hours tonight (Friday, November 20) to close at 9 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. as originally scheduled. Disney’s Hollywood Studios will also be extending operating hours on November 21, 22, 24, and 25 to close at 9:30 p.m. instead of 8:30 p.m. as previously scheduled. Extra Magic Hours on Sunday, November 22 will be 9:30 – 11:30 p.m. 

Additional Rivers of Light Nighttime Show Details Released

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom is in the midst of an incredible period of growth, which will culminate with the opening of Pandora – The World of AVATAR in 2017.
Even before that happens, Guests will be able to experience the magic of nature at night with new after-dark experiences and entertainment that will literally light up the park starting in spring 2016, including the new “Rivers of Light” nighttime show. Today, Disney release additional information about this new offering.

Islands of Adventure Update: Repainting the Lighthouse

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Universal's Islands of Adventure continues to be under the spotlight thanks to the many different projects that are underway inside the park. In addition to the major refurbishment of The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the construction going on in the future Reign of Kong area (you may find the latest photos right here), the iconic lighthouse found near the park's entrance is receiving some attention, while minor work continues to be done in other themed areas. Take a look:

"Made With Magic" Products Coming to Epcot This Month

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Starting November 23, 2015, Epcot Guests can light up the night with a colorful collection of magical accessories (also known as "Made With Magic" products) that include a Mickey Ear Hat, Minnie Mouse Headband, Mickey Mouse Glove, and the Mickey Wand (the wand has the ability to interact and change the light patterns of all "Made with Magic" products). Each of these interactive products is programmed to automatically light up at key moments around World Showcase.

LEGOLAND Florida to Offer Great Discounts (Nov. 27 & 30)

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The LEGOLAND Florida Resort will offer some very advantageous discounts on BlackBrick Friday (November 27) and Cyber Monday (November 30). Vacation planners and theme park fans can sign up now by clicking on this link to get exclusive details in advance. They will also be added to the resort's mailing list to receive a direct link to a private web page for every offer when it goes live.
Be sure to remember that each special offer is limited and may sell out quickly.

Epcot's Biergarten to Temporarily Extend Operating Hours

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The Biergarten Restaurant (a popular buffet located in World Showcase at Epcot) will extend its hours of operation starting from Sunday, November 22 and continuing through the end of the year. The operating hours will be as follows:
November 22-26: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; November 27-December 19: 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; December 20-30: 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; December 31: 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; January 1-2: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Hours will go back to normal on January 3, 2015.

Once Upon a Toy Construction Begins at Disney Springs

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On Sunday, November 15, a barricade was installed inside Once Upon a Toy (a store located in the Marketplace) near the Star Wars merchandise room.
Once Upon a Toy is currently expected to remain operational during this work. Disney Infinity and Playmation merchandise will still be available at Once Upon a Toy, while Disney princess products and select media items (including CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Ray) will continue to be available at the World of Disney store.

"Reign of Kong" Construction Update: November 18, 2015

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Earlier today, we paid a quick visit to Universal's Islands of Adventure to take a look around the park and to specifically check the progress that has been done in the past few days in the future Reign of Kong themed area of the park.
While it seems like the majority of the work on the exterior of the attraction has almost been completed, plenty of new details continue to be added every week. We just have to take an even closer look around this large construction zone...

Disney's Yacht Club Resort: Bus Stop Temporarily Moved

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Beginning from today, the bus stop at Disney's Yacht Club Resort will be moved to the convention center porte cochere due to construction taking place nearby.
Buses will enter through the main Yacht Club guest entrance, not the Dolphin gate. This temporary adjustment is currently scheduled to end Friday December 18, 2015. While the bus stop will be relocated to another area of the hotel during this time, this change is not expected to affect the bus routes and ride times.

Busch Gardens Tampa Unveils New Cobra's Curse Model

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Busch Gardens Tampa provided additional details about the latest thrill ride project coming in 2016, including a detailed model revealed at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) Expo in Orlando.
Cobra’s Curse will be the only ride of its kind in the world: a family roller coaster with freely spinning ride vehicles and a 70-foot vertical lift. The multi-directional spins on Cobra’s Curse will provide excitement and fun for guests of all ages.

Grand Floridian Resort: Mizner's Coffee Lounge Changes

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Yesterday, the Walt Disney World Resort announced that the last day Mizner's Coffee Bar will be operating during the morning will be November 21, 2015.
Beginning Nov. 22, Mizner's Lounge will open at 1:30 p.m. for cocktail service. Guests searching for a caffeine fix and breakfast on-the-go, will still be able to visit Gasparilla's Island Grill. Kona Island (found at Disney's Polynesian Resort) and the Contemporary Grounds (at the Contemporary Resort) also offer coffee.

America's Funniest Videos Voting at Hollywood Studios

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On Thursday, Nov. 19, Disney's Hollywood Studios Guests will have the chance to vote on five to six videos inside the Premiere Theater at 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. Guests participating will need to be at least 9 years of age or older to vote, and all Guests who vote will receive a free AFV t-shirt. Guests who are selected to participate will not be able to take photos or videos during the voting process.
The date and times previously mentioned are subject to change without notice.

Blue Man Group Launches a Brand-New VIP Experience

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The Blue Man Group has introduced an all-new VIP Experience to give guests a once-in-a-lifetime, behind-the-scenes look at the Orlando version of the show.
In addition to premier seats to the show, the experience includes a backstage tour loaded with Blue Man Group history, a souvenir program and VIP lanyard, popcorn and soda, a merchandise discount, and an exclusive private meet-and-greet and photo opportunity with a Blue Man after the conclusion of the show.

Animal Kingdom Update: More Floating Mountains Appear

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Some of the massive, new floating mountains that will soon dominate the skyline of Pandora: The World of AVATAR started to be installed a few weeks ago at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The latest floating mountain installed in the area (it became visible just two days ago) looks quite different, as it already features its themed outer layer. If that gives any indication of how the finished product will look like, then we can be sure the area will look even better than we thought.