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Showing posts from December, 2015

Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon Closed January 2-5, 2016

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Be advised that, due to forecasted low temperatures, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed on Saturday, January 2 and Sunday, January 3, while Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park will be closed Tuesday, January 5, 2016.
As a reminder, Typhoon Lagoon will commence its seasonal rehab on January 4, 2016, with a scheduled re-opening date of March 13, 2016. Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses will operate as usual.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Expansion Officially Begins

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios will soon begin the largest expansion in the history of the park, including the highly anticipated Star Wars-themed land and the larger-than-life Toy Story Land. In order to prepare for the expansion, character greetings with Phineas & Ferb and Lightning McQueen & Mater and the nearby merchandise cart will not be available after January 4. Additionally, the Joffrey’s kiosk located near Premiere Theater will be closed after January 4, 2016.

SeaWorld Update: Mako Construction and More (PART 1)

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SeaWorld Orlando is definitely one of the theme parks in the area that we do not cover as often as we'd like to. While it might be true that the Walt Disney World Resort and the Universal Orlando Resort are growing at a faster pace, we have noticed plenty of changes around every angle of the park during our last visit.
In addition to Mako (the park's new coaster), multiple areas have received some additions or have been refurbished in the past few months. Take a look.

SeaWorld Update: Mako Construction and More (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of this SeaWorld Orlando photo-report. As always, be sure to also check out PART 1 if you haven't already done so. In the first part of this update, we showed you around the entrance area of the park, the Port of Entry, the area surrounding Manta, and Key West. Now, we will continue our tour of the park by visiting Blue HorizonsTurtleTrekKraken, the Waterfront, and we will also take a peek at the park's new hyper coaster, Mako.

SeaWorld Update: Mako Construction and More (PART 3)

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Welcome to the third (and final) part of this new SeaWorld Orlando photo-report. Be sure to also check out PART 2 of this update if you haven't already done so. In the previous part, we enjoyed walking around more areas of this beautiful theme park and we also briefly checked out the progress that has been done in the area where Mako is taking shape. We will now start to get closer to this new coaster, and then we will visit the remaining areas of SeaWorld Orlando. Enjoy!

Magic Kingdom Park Currently at Phase B Status (Dec. 31)

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As of 10:50 a.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is at a Phase B status. This phase includes admission for all Disney Resort Guests, Premier Passport, Annual and Premium Passholders, Guests that have Memory Maker, dining reservations, reservations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop, or The Pirates League, and Guests with FastPass+ selections at the park. Magic Kingdom 1-day tickets will be honored at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

Disney Cruise Line Helps Power Vehicles in The Bahamas

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Since March 2011, Disney Cruise Line has donated more than 60,000 gallons of used cooking oil to the Bahamas Waste Management to help power their fleet of vehicles in Nassau. Bahamas Waste collects the used cooking oil directly from the four Disney Cruise Line ships at the Port of Nassau and then converts it into biodiesel fuel - a nontoxic and biodegradable fuel that drastically reduces engine emissions in comparison to traditional petroleum diesel.

Animal Kingdom's Park Hours Extended on December 31

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In order to allow Guests even more time to enjoy the park, the operating hours of Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will be extended Thursday, December 31, 2015 until 10 p.m. The park was originally scheduled to close at 9 p.m.
Offerings available during the additional hour will be updated for Guests in the My Disney Experience app and website; however, the park's Times Guides will not reflect the changes as they were printed before park hours were modified.

The BlackMINE Group Releases New iSquare Mall Images

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The BlackMINE Group recently received the approval of the redesigned iSquare Project, which will include two major 5-star hotels and a Lifestyle Mall containing over 350,000 square feet. This ambitious project also recently reached another major milestone, the approval by the City Council for the included Helipad at an elevation of 400 feet. The iSquare Mall (located below the hotels) is expected to become a World-Class Mall, targeting shoppers from all over the world. 

Typhoon Lagoon Closure on Jan. 2-3 Due to Cool Weather

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Guests planning on visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the next few days should note that Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park will be closed Saturday, January 2 and Sunday, January 3, 2016 due to forecasted low temperatures.
Disney’s Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland Miniature Golf Courses will be open during normal business hours. As a reminder, Disney's Blizzard Beach is currently closed for refurbishment. Check back this site for more updates.

"Disney Junior Park Packs" Coming to Walt Disney World

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As part of a new annual product, a special Pre-K resort reservation package will be introduced to Guests who are traveling from January 2 through April 13.
This room package includes a complimentary Disney Junior Park Pack (a small bag that contains fun activities and items tailored to Pre-K children, including stickers, posters, light snacks, water, and more), which Guests will receive upon check-in. Park Packs will be delivered to the Guest’s resort prior to their arrival.

Magic Kingdom Park Currently at Phase A Status (Dec. 29)

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As of 10:50 a.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is currently at a Phase A status.
Phase A status includes admission for Disney Resort Guests, all Disney Annual Passholders, Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Walt Disney World theme park, Guests with Memory Maker, Guests with reservations at one of the restaurants in the park or with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop, or The Pirates League.

Main Event Entertainment to Open New Location on I-Drive

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Dallas-based Main Event Entertainment has announced that it will open its first Florida location at Pointe Orlando in an existing 48,000-square-foot space on the first level of the complex. The location is scheduled to open in Fall 2016.
Main Event is the fastest-growing bowling entertainment center in America that also offers a multi-level laser tag arena and a challenging gravity ropes course suspended over a games gallery, which features more than 100 virtual games. 

Epcot Update: World Showcase and Frozen Ever After

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Epcot's World Showcase has received plenty of new additions in the past few months. Indeed, new entertainment offerings debuted in some of the "countries," including The American Adventure, Morocco, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
Additionally, other minor changes in other areas, like the new Audio-Animatronic figures of the Three Caballeros in Mexico. In this update, we will check out some of those changes as well as the Frozen-themed area taking shape in Norway.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Parking Currently At Capacity

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As of 4:15 p.m., Disney’s Hollywood Studios is available to all Guests; however, the parking lot has just reached capacity. Guests arriving now will be directed to alternate parking at Epcot where they can use Walt Disney World Transportation to return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. A parking coupon will be distributed for Guests to redeem at Epcot. Due to anticipated park attendance, please continue to check back here on OTPN often throughout the week for additional updates.

Magic Kingdom Park Currently at Phase B Status (Dec. 28)

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As of 12:15 p.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is at a Phase B status. This phase includes admission for all Disney Resort Guests, Premier Passport, Annual and Premium Passholders, Guests that have Memory Maker, dining reservations, reservations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop, or The Pirates League, and Guests with FastPass+ selections at the park. Magic Kingdom 1-day tickets will be honored at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Port Orleans Resort News & Updates (Dec. 2015)

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Disney's Port Orleans Resort is undoubtedly one of the most beloved hotels at the Walt Disney World Resort (the French Quarter is especially considered one of the most charming moderate resort on property by many Guests).
As the Walt Disney World Resort continues to work hard to keep the resort's many offerings fresh and exciting, additional offerings are tested and added on a seasonal basis. Continue reading to see what is new around this themed resort.

Tribute to Twister - Ride it Out! at Universal Studios Florida

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Twister closed at Universal Studios Florida just a few weeks ago, yet work on the new experience that will replace that former attraction has already begun.
While we wait for the new Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon ride, let's take a quick trip back in time to walk around the queue and pre-show areas of Twister. This tribute should prove to be very helpful when the new attraction opens, as it will be easier to compare how much the space will have changed.

Major Disney's Wilderness Lodge Refurbishment Continues

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As previously reported, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is undergoing numerous refurbishment projects in an effort to enhance and refresh the Guest experience.
Beginning in January 2016, select areas of the resort will be temporarily closed due to the refurbishment, including the rooms in the south wing (unavailable starting from January 1), Cub’s Den (unavailable starting from Jan. 2), and the South Wing and Lobby Elevators (unavailable beginning from January 5).

PIN Reset Option Now Available in My Disney Experience

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The latest version of the My Disney Experience app has been released and includes a new PIN reset feature, allowing Guests to reset the PIN number on their own. Guests can select from two options in the My Disney Experience app to reset their PINs (select "Profile," then "MagicBands & Cards" OR "Payment Methods," followed by Reset PIN"). After selecting “Reset PIN,” select the name of the Guest whose PIN needs to be changed, followed by the new PIN number.

The Ganachery Chocolate Shop Opens at Disney Springs

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The Ganachery is now open in The Landing themed area of Disney Springs.
This new premium chocolate boutique created by Disney showcases the art of chocolate making and is is steeped in history with hints of its South American owners and past life as an apothecary. The Ganachery features 16 different kinds of handcrafted ganache (a rich mixture of chocolate and cream) infused with exotic spices and fruit flavors from around the world and much more. 

New Laser Show Debuts at Orlando World Center Marriott

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One of the world's coolest hotel pools just got cooler with the launch of an all-new laser light show. Sparing no expense to thrill, the Orlando World Center Marriott resort is now offering to its Guests a new, 13-minute nighttime show that includes state-of-the-art digital graphics and bursting lights synchronized with music. The new "Light Up The Night" takes place at the resort's Falls Pool Oasis, a tropical paradise that reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation.

Magic Kingdom Park Currently at Phase A Status (Dec. 25)

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As of 10:50 a.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is currently at a Phase A status.
Phase A status includes admission for Disney Resort Guests, all Disney Annual Passholders, Guests with Park Hopper tickets re-entering or crossing over from another Walt Disney World theme park, Guests with Memory Maker, Guests with reservations at one of the restaurants in the park or with reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop, or The Pirates League.

"Surprise Mornings" Returning to Epcot for a Limited Time

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Despite the fact that recent reports stated that "Surprise Mornings" were not scheduled to come back, our sources were able to find out that they will, indeed, return to Epcot for an encore through Thursday, December 31, 2015.
"Surprise Mornings" are special occasions that are not advertised by the Walt Disney World Resort, making them available to a very limited amount of Guests (that is why some of our sources had doubts that they would return this year).

Animal Kingdom: New Additions at Rafiki's Planet Watch

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Rafiki’s Planet Watch (one of the themed areas of Disney's Animal Kingdom) has a couple of new additions that aim to provide a better and more educational experience for Guests visiting this quiet - yet interesting - section of the park.
First of all, the Science Center has added a new sliding-glass window that now allows Guests to interact with ASE scientists and learn fun facts about animals that can be found around the park and the rest of the Walt Disney World Resort.

Incredible Hulk Coaster Refurbishment Update (Dec. 2015)

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The Incredible Hulk Coaster is finally starting to be reassembled at Universal's Islands of Adventure. While the majority Guests visiting the park will not be able to notice this, some people have reported that new supports have started to be installed in a backstage area of the park, and more pieces will be coming soon.
In the meantime, let's take a look around the rest of the area formerly occupied by the coaster. As you will see, a lot of work has been done since our last visit.

Magic Kingdom Park Currently at Phase B Status (Dec. 24)

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As of 5:00 p.m., the Magic Kingdom Park is at a Phase B status. This phase includes admission for all Disney Resort Guests, Premier Passport, Annual and Premium Passholders, Guests that have Memory Maker, dining reservations, reservations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Harmony Barber Shop, or The Pirates League, and Guests with FastPass+ selections at the park. Magic Kingdom 1-day tickets will be honored at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

Updated Disney Springs Maps Now Available (Dec. 2015)

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Updated guidemaps for Disney Springs are now in circulation around the Walt Disney World Resort. The new guidemap cover features an image from World of Disney and includes multiple updates, such as the addition of The Ganachery, The BOATHOUSE Ship’s Store, Amphicar & Italian Water Taxis, the Star Wars Galactic Outpost, as well as the updated names for the surface parking lots.
Continue reading to find scans of the two updated Disney Springs guidemaps.

Parking Restrictions at Select Epcot Resorts Through Jan. 3

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Visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in the next few days? Then, be sure to note that parking restrictions will be in effect at Disney’s BoardWalk Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts through Sunday, January 3, 2016.
During this time, parking will be limited to Guests with resort, dining or recreation reservations at these hotels. Valet service will be available to Guests who wish to visit a location that does not take reservations, like Jellyrolls or ESPN Club.

Universal Orlando Purchases More than 450 Acres of Land

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In the past weeks, multiple sources reported that the Universal Orlando Resort was rumored to be interested in purchasing about 450 acres of land found near the Orange County Convention Center. It looks like those rumors were true.
In fact, earlier today, the Orlando Sentinel was able to confirm that this deal has gone through, opening up seemingly endless expansion possibilities for the resort, especially since a portion of the land is already zoned for a theme park.

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival Officially Debuts at Epcot

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Starting today (Wednesday, December 23, 2015), Epcot Guests can experience beloved Disney and Pixar animated shorts in a new 4D experience at the Magic Eye Theater (formerly featuring Captain EO), found in the Imagination Pavilion.
In “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival,” three short films will burst to life on the big screen like never before. Many of the special effects used in the past (such as the bouncing floor, water effects, and more) will also included.

Extra Magic Hour Offering Adjustments at Magic Kingdom

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Due to extended hours at the Magic Kingdom Park, select attractions will close early in the next few days to allow time for routine overnight maintenance. For this reason, Space Mountain and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will not operate during Evening Extra Magic Hours on December 23 and 30. On the other hand, Splash Mountain will operate during Evening Extra Magic Hours on both days. Splash Mountain is not typically offered during evening Extra Magic Hours.

I-Drive 360 Hosting Sports Fan Appreciation Nights in Dec.

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The Orlando Eye and I-Drive 360 are serving as the official hosts of the Russell Athletic Bowl and the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl with four fan appreciation nights for each respective team on December 27-30, from 7 to 11 p.m.
Additionally, fans can snag the last of the remaining tickets for each Bowl Game. Even though tickets to the bowl games are officially sold out, a limited number is available at OfficialOrlandoEye.com (including free admission to 3 attractions).

Overview of New "Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple" Show

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For years, younglings have summoned their bravery to master the skills of the Jedi at Disney Parks around the world. The original “Jedi Training Academy” invited those aspiring Padawans to learn to wield lightsabers and face the dark side. As the saga continues to evolve, both Disneyland Resort California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida recently introduced an enhanced take on the experience by opening the new “Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple.”

Special Resort Stay Extension Offer at Walt Disney World

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Beginning now and through Friday, Jan. 1, 2016, Guests at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels will have the opportunity to extend their stay by one night at a discounted rate. Guests that are currently staying at one of the hotels located on property will find a new buckslip in their room, instructing them to contact the resort's front desk back office to inquire about availability to extend their stay at the discounted rate. As always, this offer is subject to change without notice.

Reign of Kong Update: The Massive Gates Will Open Soon

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The future Reign of Kong themed area continue to take shape at a steady pace at Islands of Adventure. While we have seen a lot of progress being done in the past three months, the majority of the work being done in the area is currently taking place inside the structure hiding behind the massive themed facade.
Come along with us and take a look around, as there is still plenty to see around King Kong's brand-new land. We hope you will enjoy this virtual tour.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Refurbishments Beginning Jan. 4

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Guests planning on visiting the Walt Disney World Resort early next year should keep in mind that, beginning from January 4, 2016, select rides, attractions, and stores found at Disney's Animal Kingdom will close for refurbishment, including Maharajah Jungle Trek, Kali River Rapids (both located in the Asia themed area of the park), and the Disney Outfitters shop (located on Discovery Island).
Continue reading to learn more about these upcoming refurbishment projects.

Epcot Attractions to Extend Hours After Soarin's Closure

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As previously reported, the very popular Soarin' attraction is scheduled to close for a quite extensive refurbishment at Epcot beginning from January 4, 2016.
To help Guests maximize their visit to the park during that time, more attractions in Future World will remain open to Guests until park close, including Living with the Land, Circle of Life, Journey Into Imagination, and Pixar Short Film Festival. It is unclear whether Innoventions and Universe of Energy will also be included.

SeaWorld Orlando Rescues Injured Loggerhead Sea Turtle

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On the morning of December 16, the SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team returned a 63-pound endangered loggerhead sea turtle measuring 23 inches long to its natural environment on Playalinda Beach (located at the Canaveral National Seashore). The turtle spent more than 3 months at SeaWorld Orlando’s rehabilitation facility after a large fishing hook became embedded in its head.
The loggerhead sea turtle was rescued back in August near Jetty Beach, Fla.

Updated Magic Kingdom Park Guidemaps Now Available

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As previously reported, new maps for Magic Kingdom Park are now available at the Walt Disney World Resort. The updated guidemaps include the addition of the new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Jungle Skipper Canteen restaurant that has replaced the old Adventureland Veranda, as well as food & beverage updates. The updated maps feature Cinderella Castle on the front and include the English version as well as the five translations and the Guide for Guests with Disability.

Disney Springs Update: The Landing and the Town Center

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In just a few months, the entirety of Disney Springs will finally open to all Walt Disney World Resort Guests. The former Downtown Disney is already a thing of the past due to the changes that have transformed this entertainment, shopping, and dining district. Of course, more will be unveiled in the upcoming months.
This afternoon we will show you around all four of the themed neighborhoods that make up Disney Springs, focusing on The Landing and the Town Center.

Orlando Theme Parks Introduce Some Security Changes

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The theme parks and attractions in the Orlando area continually review their comprehensive approach to security, and this is especially needed now due to the recent events that have affected many locations throughout the world.
As part of these efforts to keep Central Florida's attractions as safe as possible, some very important security changes were introduced at the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando, and the Walt Disney World Resort on December 17.

Operating Hours Changes at Senses - A Disney Spa (Dec.)

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Senses - A Disney Spa (found at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort) will have adjusted operating hours on select days in the next few weeks. On December 25, the spas will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On December 31, the operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Additionally, on those days, the fitness center and salon at both locations will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hours will be reverted back to normal starting January 1, 2016.

Select Kiosks at Animal Kingdom Receive New Names

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As the Walt Disney World Resort continues to tell immersive stories throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom, new themed names have been introduced to some of the outdoor food kiosks that are located around this beautiful theme park.
Earlier this week, select food & beverage kiosks received official names (which are now also included in the My Disney Experience website and app, as well as on the maps available at the park) that will better assist Guests with wayfinding.

SeaWorld Orlando Rehabilitates Rough-Toothed Dolphin

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A rough-toothed dolphin found beached on the shoreline of Clearwater Beach this summer is settling into his new home at Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City Beach after a nearly 6-month rehabilitation at SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue Center. The 225-pound dolphin was originally rescued by the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and transported to SeaWorld Orlando for rehabilitative care this past June. Upon arrival at SeaWorld Orlando, the dolphin was extremely weak. 

Walt Disney World: In-Park Pin Trading Locations Change

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Effective Sunday, Dec. 20, Guests looking for pin trading locations at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be directed to indoor merchandise locations instead of outdoor stores.
Most indoor merchandise locations have been equipped with pin trading books or boards. In addition to that, Guests visiting the parks can always locate a Cast Member wearing a lanyard with Disney pins to trade (such as managers).

Baymax Officially Joins the Expanded Epcot Character Spot

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The Epcot Character Spot (the cartoon clubhouse of the future at Innoventions West) has just been expanded to allow Guests to meet more Disney friends.
Starting today, Guests visiting Epcot can spend time with Baymax, everyone’s favorite personal healthcare companion from Disney’s “Big Hero 6.” Of course, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy will continue to greet Guests on the opposite side of the breezeway, and Chip 'n' Dale can be found just around the corner outside.

Updated Magic Kingdom Park Map Available from Dec. 20

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Updated guidemaps for Magic Kingdom Park will become available to all Guests starting Sunday, December 20. The new guidemap has an image of Cinderella Castle on the cover.

 New updates include the addition of the brand-new Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd Jungle Skipper Canteen as well as various Food & Beverage updates. The new guidemaps will include the English version, as well as all five translations and the Guide for Guests with Disabilities.

Brunch at the Top Coming to the California Grill Restaurant

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The California Grill has always been one of the top choices for dining at the Walt Disney World Resort. Beginning February 7, 2016, Guests who wish to dine “on top of the world” will be able to indulge in a new brunch experience at California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. "Brunch on Top" invites Guests every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to enjoy classic, yet elevated, brunch dishes like poached lobster benedict, sweet potato pancakes, shrimp and grits, and more. 

Seasonal Atmosphere Entertainment at Animal Kingdom

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On select days from December 20 to January 2, various entertainment acts will be performed on Discovery Island at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
With sets usually occurring sometime between 12:30-7:30 p.m. on performance days, these acts will not be published in the Times Guide or on the My Disney Experience website and app. To prepare for the debut of these new, temporary offerings, in-park rehearsals will take place after park close on December 19.