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Showing posts from July, 2016

Additional Offerings Coming to Epcot's Germany Pavilion

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Starting from this week, world-famous yodeler Margret Almer and The Bavarian Band will bring spirited and authentic music to the Germany gazebo. The group will perform on the stage adjacent to the Germany pavilion five days a week. In addition to that, "My Heritage Books" (a multicultural kiosk selling custom-made, hardcover kids books currently located in The American Adventure pavilion) will relocate to the Germany pavilion on Monday, August 1, 2016.

SeaWorld Orlando Caring for Beached Pygmy Killer Whale

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On July 26 the SeaWorld Orlando Rescue Team began round-the-clock care for a critically ill pygmy killer whale that beached itself off the west coast of Florida.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) directed the dolphin to be sent to SeaWorld Orlando’s rescue facility.  A pygmy killer whale is very rare to find in shallow waters near the coast and even rarer to see beached and in need of rescuing. These whales typically travel in groups of 10 to 30.

Hollywood Studios Update: PizzeRizzo Construction Work

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Just a few days back, the Walt Disney World Resort officially confirmed a rumor that had been going around for months. The former Pizza Planet restaurant will soon become a Muppets-themed dining location that'll be known as PizzeRizzo.
This morning we will check on the progress that has been made in that area. In addition to that, we will explore many of the other themed areas of the park to see what's new and what has changed since our last visit. Enjoy the photos.

TUMI Store Now Open in Town Center at Disney Springs

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TUMI, the leading brand of premium travel, business, and lifestyle accessories, officially opened on Friday, July 29, 2016 as the latest arrival in Town Center.
Located near the UNOde50 store, TUMI carries a variety of luggage, bags, and accessories for travel from short trips to long journeys. Known as the "TUMI difference," each product is designed with detail and innovation in mind and put through numerous tests to ensure the highest quality, durability and functionality.

The Coca-Cola Company Now Sponsors The Orlando Eye

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Orlando’s 400-foot observation wheel is bubbling with happiness over its new name: Coca-Cola Orlando Eye. This exciting partnership with Coca-Cola allows guests to share enhanced new experiences on the observation wheel from the moment they enter the attraction. All Guests will now be greeted with a bold and contemporary look throughout the interior and exterior of The Orlando Eye’s terminal building, featuring Coca-Cola’s signature red and white colors. 

New Muppets Show Coming to the Magic Kingdom Park

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This fall, the Muppets are coming to Walt Disney World for a new show at Magic Kingdom, “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History.”
Sam Eagle, the fiercely patriotic American eagle who has always been trying to set a high moral standard for the Muppets, will be joined by Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo outside The Hall of Presidents attraction in Liberty Square to present historical tales in hysterical fashion as only they can. 

Parking Lot Adjustments at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

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Beginning Monday, August 1, work will begin in the Guest parking lot at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge. The current phase of this project should last approximately three weeks, and will occur in the middle most lanes of the Guest parking lot.
Overall, this work will include additional crosswalks, sidewalks, lighting and the relocation of the valet parking gates. This work will have minimal impact, if any, on parking availability and is anticipated to be completed by September 9.

Orphaned Manatee Being Cared for at SeaWorld Orlando

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SeaWorld Orlando's Rescue Team is currently caring for an approximately two-week old baby male manatee that was found abandoned last week in the Halifax River, off the east coast of Florida. The orphaned calf was spotted a week ago, on Wednesday, July 20 and transported to SeaWorld Orlando’s Rescue facility by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The calf still had its umbilical cord attached, weighed 58 lbs and was 115 cm. long upon arrival.

Learn More About U.S. National Parks at Animal Kingdom

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In early August, Guests visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be invited to stop by the "Pete’s Dragon" activity table at Rafiki’s Planet Watch (located in front of the national parks map) to learn more about our wonderful natural world.
At these locations, Guests can pick up a “Pete’s Dragon” button and take part in a puzzle game about the amazing national parks located across the U.S. In the film, one of the main characters is a ranger working in a Pacific Northwest Park.

Character Meet & Greet Changes at Hollywood Studios

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Every few months, some of the characters meeting Guests at the Walt Disney World Resort move to different locations for a variety of different reasons. Among the latest changes, we noticed that Goofy, Chip & Dale, as well as Daisy & Donald are now greeting Guests at new locations around Disney's Hollywood Studios. Goofy, Chip, and Dale can now be found on Commissary Lane across from Writer’s Stop, while Daisy & Donald now meet Guest by the main entrance.

Busch Gardens Invites Guests to Learn More About Tigers

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On Friday, July 29, 2016, Guests are invited to come out and show their stripes as Busch Gardens Tampa hosts its fourth annual Global Tiger Day celebration.
As part of the celebration, Guests will be able to watch the park's tigers receive special enrichment at the 12:30 p.m. "keeper talk" in Tiger Trails, meet some of the tiger keepers and ask them questions about these amazing animals, as well as take part in fun activities in the Tiger Lodge between 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Epcot Releases 2016 "Eat to the Beat" Concert Lineup

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Eight new "Eat to the Beat" musical acts join 18 fan-favorite bands for a diverse lineup of pop hit makers who will rock America Gardens Theatre during the 21st Epcot International Food & Wine Festival September 14 through November 14.
New acts in 2016 are Wang Chung, BoDeans, Plain White T’s, Jeffrey Osborne, Toad The West Sprocket, Living Colour, Soul Asylum, and Delta Rae. Returning acts include Los Lobos, Wilson Phillips, Tiffany, Boyz II Men, and many more. 

New Sports Venue Coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports

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Back in February, the Walt Disney World Resort announced plans to build a new sports venue at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Yesterday morning, new details were released, including the design of the new state-of-the-art venue.
The new indoor sports venue, which will be adjacent to the Jostens Center, will feature a flexible design that can morph from a large competition space capable of seating more than 8,000 fans to as many as four separate competition areas. 

SeaWorld Update: Summer of Mako Continues (PART 1)

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SeaWorld's Summer of Mako event continues to bring multiple special activities to the park, adding more offerings for Guests to enjoy in this amazing place.
As Guests make their way through the theme park, they might notice some changes, including the introduction of semi-permanent metal detectors at the front of the park (which have been moved past the ticket booths), new signage advertising all the special offerings currently available, and more. Take a look:

SeaWorld Update: Summer of Mako Continues (PART 2)

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Welcome to the second part of our new SeaWorld Orlando photo-report, OTPN Readers. PART 1 of this update can be found by clicking on this link. In the previous part, we walked around the park's main entrance, the Key West-themed area, and then we moved on to the thrill ride-heavy part of SeaWorld Orlando. Then, we started exploring the new Shark Wreck Reef. Let's continue to tour this themed realm, and then we will move on to the remaining areas.

Fire System Test at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

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From July 25 through August 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Friday, the fire system will be tested throughout Guest rooms in building 4. Maintenance teams will be escorted by Cast Members to Guest rooms, including occupied rooms. Guests staying at the hotel should keep in mind that there may be noise impacts in individual rooms during the testing process. Guests that have any concerns in regards to this testing are invited to contact the Front Desk for assistance.

New Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Coming to Disneyland

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The Guardians of the Galaxy are coming to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Beginning summer 2017, guests at Disney California Adventure Park will join in a daring confrontation with the Collector. He has opened his unique collection of fauna, relics and species to guests for a special tour culminating with his latest prized possessions: the Guardians of the Galaxy, themselves! Rocket has a plan to free his friends, which includes recruiting Disneyland Resort guests.

New Disney Springs Guidemaps Now Available (July 2016)

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A new Disney Springs guidemap is now available around the Walt Disney World Resort. Updates to the guidemap include the addition of the new taxi location at the Marketplace bus loop, the new Valet parking area located near the Lime Garage, the additional service animal and smoking locations in the Town Center neighborhood, all of the new stores and dining locations that have opened since May 15, 2016. Continue reading to find electronic versions of the updated map.

Quick-Service Coupons Returning to Magic Kingdom Park

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Just like it has been done multiple times in the past, all Guests who visit select quick-service locations around the Magic Kingdom Park from July 26 through September 4, 2016 will receive a coupon attached to their receipt, offering 10% off purchase at participating Disney Springs merchandise locations between July 26 and September 5. The coupon cannot be used in combination with other discounts or promotions, and must be surrendered at the time of purchase.

Toothsome Chocolate Emporium Construction Progressing

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The new Toothsome Chocolate Emporium and Savory Feast Kitchen continues to quickly take shape at Universal's CityWalk. This brand-new dining location will undoubtedly become one of the main icons of this entertainment district, thanks to the massive themed elements that can be seen throughout the area.
In addition to interesting food and beverage offerings, Guests will be able to get to know some very intriguing characters inside this new, themed environment.

Ranchos Pool Area Construction at Coronado Springs

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Starting from Thursday, July 28, the Ranchos Pool area at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort will be under construction for an unspecified period of time. Work will happen Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to avoid causing disturbance to Guests staying in nearby buildings. During that time, the pool will remain open to Guests. As always, Guests walking around the area should use caution and stay clear of all areas closed to the public due to construction.

Magic Kingdom Update: New Look for Carousel of Progress

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In this day and age, it's not surprising to hear Guests visiting the Magic Kingdom Park saying that Tomorrowland looks quite dated, thanks to the contrasting color schemes and themed elements that are not present throughout the entire land.
Fortunately, it looks like the park is about to fix this issue. Indeed, the exterior of the Carousel of Progress just received a great, new color scheme that greatly enhances the look of the building. But there's more going on around the park.

Fantasia Gardens Golf Closing for Refurbishment in August

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Guests that enjoy Disney's miniature golf courses should note that both courses of Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf will temporarily close for refurbishment in August. The Gardens Course (the more traditional miniature golf course) will be closed from Monday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 10 and will reopen August 11. The Fairways Course will be closed from Monday, August 1 through Tuesday, August 2 and will reopen to Guests on Wednesday, August 3.

New Anthropologie Store Opens Today at Disney Springs

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Grand openings continue in the Town Center neighborhood of Disney Springs. The latest store to open in Anthropologie. Offering a unique and eclectic product assortment, Anthropologie features women’s casual apparel and accessories, intimates, shoes, beauty items, home furnishings, as well as a diverse array of gifts and decorative items. The new Anthropologie shop is located right next to UNOde50 and across from Sephora. Be sure to stop by to check it out.

New Entertainment Offerings Debut at LEGOLAND Florida

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Don’t miss your chance to light up the night at LEGOLAND Florida! As part of the Night Lights event, Olivia, Mia, Emma, Stephanie, and Andrea are starring in a brand-new, live show. “Olivia’s Night Light Extravaganza” is a dance party that takes place in Heartlake Hall at 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Dance and sing along as The LEGO Friends work hard to deliver a rockin’ time! “Friends to the Rescue” will continue to take place at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m.

Hollywood Studios: Menu Changes Coming to Sunset Blvd

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To offer Guests a variety of new food options, beginning Aug. 2 Disney will begin serving up some great, new menu items within the Sunset Ranch Market area at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Inspired by the fresh selections traditionally found at a farmer’s market, a selection of baked potatoes will be available at Fairfax Fare, including the Fairfax One Pound Baked Potato with tri-tip beef, gravy and cheddar, and the Loaded Fairfax Potato with sour cream, cheddar, and bacon.

Disney's Contemporary Resort Exterior Repainting Project

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The exterior of Disney's Contemporary Resort is currently undergoing cleaning and painting. Guests visiting the resort should be aware that multiple sections of scaffolding and ladders can be found in the area to safely complete this work. These areas will be appropriately monitored and blocked off when necessary.
Keep safety top of mind and be sure to always follow directional signage. No other major impacts are expected as a result of this refurbishment project.

SeaWorld Orlando Introduces All-New Summer Soak Party

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Beginning July 22, Guests will be able to beat the heat at SeaWorld Orlando’s new Summer Soak Party! Families can take a break from the sun and splash and dance the day away under playful sprinklers and rain curtains. DJ’s and dancers keep things cool while ice-cold culinary surprises delight guests at this summertime celebration Party Zone. The Summer Soak Party takes place daily through August 14 and weekends August 15 through Labor Day, 12-6 p.m.

Surrey Bikes Now Available at Disney's Coronado Springs

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Guests staying at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort now have a new option to explore the hotel! Surrey bikes became available last Monday (July 18, 2016).
In addition to single and double surrey bikes (single surrey bikes are available for $20 for 30 minutes, while double surrey bikes are available for $22 for 30 minutes), Guests can also rent beach cruisers ($10 for 30 minutes) and elliptical bikes ($15 per half-hour) at the marina between noon–8 p.m. daily.

New Disney's Hollywood Studios Guidemaps Coming Soon

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Updated guidemaps for Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be available around the Walt Disney World Resort beginning Sunday, July 24. The park map's new cover features Kylo Ren (a picture of the map's cover can be found in this post) and will include the addition of the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks show, Celebrity Spotlight, and Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet Dreams, as well as food & beverage updates and adjustments to the transportation section.

Busch Gardens Presents Red Carpet Entertainment Series

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Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced today an evolution of entertainment with its all-new premiere event offering, the Busch Gardens Red Carpet Series.
Held in the Moroccan Palace Theatre (a newly-refurbished, 1,100-seat venue offering three tiers of comfortable seating with stellar sight lines and state-of-the-art acoustics), the series will be kicked off by comedian and musician Wayne Brady, and legendary Latin jazz artist and Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval.

New Soarin' Tour for DVC Members at Disneyland Resort

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All Disney Vacation Club Members and their Guests are invited to embark on a high-flying journey during a complimentary behind-the-scenes tour of Soarin' Around the World. Located at Disney California Adventure Park, this newly re-imagined attraction features all-new digital screens and projection systems—for a truly immersive experience. Tour reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To book, contact Member Services at (800) 800-9800.

Baseboard & Millwork at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort

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From Tuesday, July 26 through Tuesday, August 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, millwork is scheduled to be performed around Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa (specifically on the baseboards, door frames, elevators, and a few other atrium and hallway areas throughout buildings 1-2 and 4-9). During that time, Guests visiting the resort may see and hear work being performed. Guests should feel free to contact the front desk if they have any concerns.

Universal Studios Update: Coke Kiosk Finally Takes Shape

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The Universal Orlando Resort is on a roll. In the past five years, a lot of new attractions and shows have debuted across the two theme parks, and that's in addition to all the new dining locations and hotels that Guests can visit outside the parks. While Universal is known for completing their projects in a fairly quick fashion, one of their smallest projects seems to never show any project. We are referring to the new Coca-Cola kiosk being built in the World Expo area.

Discovery River Theatre Adjustments at Animal Kingdom

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As Disney's Animal Kingdom continues to tweak the operational details for “The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic,” Cast Members working at the location will test opening the amphitheater closer to the actual show time in the next few days.
A similar change was tested a few weeks ago to encourage Guests visiting the park to enjoy more attractions, and entertainment offerings (including some of the other nighttime experiences) prior to arriving for the first show of the night.

The Polite Pig Restaurant Coming Soon to Disney Springs

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The Polite Pig, a sister restaurant of popular Winter Park eatery, The Ravenous Pig, has announced it'll open in Town Center at Disney Springs in spring 2017.
Serving lunch and dinner daily, The Polite Pig will feature a variety of wood-fired smoked and grilled items. This new restaurant will also introduce an innovative beverage program offering all drinks on tap – including beer, wine and cocktails. The 5,000-square-foot dining venue will have seating for about 200 guests.

Florida Kids Can Get Free Admission to LEGOLAND Park

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This summer, LEGOLAND Florida Resort is inviting kids throughout the state to visit for free! Florida residents who buy a full-price, single-day adult ticket to LEGOLAND Florida Theme Park and LEGOLAND Water Park get a kid’s ticket absolutely free. This allows even more Guests to experience the two brand-new 4D movies, a fun new water park attraction, new models in MINILAND USA, and lots of hands-on activities inside the newly re-imagined Imagination Zone.

Concrete Work Taking Place at the Magic Kingdom Park

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The "Car Barn Gate" in Town Square (the backstage gate used to take parade floats in and out of the park) will undergo concrete replacement July 18–22. This work will require NO vehicle traffic from park clear (1-2 a.m.) until 3 p.m. daily.
For this reason, the "Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It!" street party will only perform at 5:40 and 7 p.m. on these dates. The "Main Street Trolley Show" will perform daily with no changes to show times, using the Main Street Fire Engine.

Animal Kingdom Update: AVATAR Land Progress and More

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Guests have a lot to look forward to. While there have been quite a number of new additions that have debuted in the park earlier this year, visitors are still eagerly waiting to experience the brand-new Rivers of Light nighttime show, which is still expected to debut before the end of the year. In addition to that, the AVATAR-themed land will open to Guests in 2017, adding two new attractions as well as more retail opportunities and dining locations.

Loews Sapphire Falls Resort Opens at Universal Orlando

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Loews Sapphire Falls Resort has officially opened its doors to Universal Orlando Guests. This new Caribbean-inspired property is the fifth on-site hotel to open at the resort, and it promises to whisk you away to an island state of mind.  Guests can indulge in a Strong Water Tavern grog or the hotel's signature mojo-marinated rotisserie chicken from Amatista Cookhouse, experience incredible views from one of 1,000 guest rooms, including 83 suites, and so much more.

UNIQLO Officially Opens in Town Center at Disney Springs

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UNIQLO opened on July 15 in the Town Center at Disney Springs, introducing Guests to a full assortment of LifeWear: innovative, high-quality clothing that is universal in design and comfort and that's made for anyone, everywhere.
The store features core products in a variety of colors and styles. Guests will also find special concept corners unique to UNIQLO at Disney Springs that bring the brand’s Japanese heritage to life alongside many Disney-inspired products.

Grand Slam Pool Refurbishment at All-Star Sports Resort

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The Grand Slam Pool (found at Disney's All-Star Sports Resort) will be closed for planned maintenance beginning Monday, October 10 until December 2016.
During this time, Guests are invited to make a splash at the Surfboard Bay Pool, located near the main lobby, Grandstand Spirits Pool Bar and End Zone Food Court. Guests who booked their stay through the Walt Disney World Resort and have general questions about the resort should call 407-934-7639

PizzeRizzo Opens This Fall at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

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This fall, friends of Rizzo The Rat will be able to enjoy lunch and dinner at the new PizzeRizzo in Muppets Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Serving the same delicious pizza and salads, the new restaurant will open in the former Pizza Planet location. PizzeRizzo is a classic family pizzeria owned and operated by Rizzo The Rat. At the quick-service restaurant, Guests can grab a pizza pie, a cold drink, and enjoy a casual Italian-American dining experience.

Musique Aramenco Now Performing in Morocco at Epcot

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Epcot Guests can embark on a musical journey with Musique Aramenco, a new group performing in the Morocco pavilion. The show involves the darbuka drum (the heart of folkloric and modern music) violins, and a belly dancer to create a pleasing fusion of traditional and popular dance music and melodies one might hear in countries along the Southern Mediterranean and Northern Africa.
Musique Aramenco will take place five days a week for a limited engagement.

Universal’s Photo Connect Becomes My Universal Photos

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The official photo program of Universal Orlando is changing name. Say goodbye to the former “Universal’s Photo Connect” and hello to “My Universal Photos.”
My Universal Photos locations and professional photographers are all over both theme parks, and they are ready to capture all of your favorite memories. Even those roller coaster photos that you aren't able to capture with a selfie or a photo with the entire group instead of someone getting left out of the photo.

Disney Early Morning Magic Coming to Hollywood Studios

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Disney Early Morning Magic (a special event that includes in-park breakfast and first access to some of the parks' most popular attractions and characters) is coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios beginning August 1. During this event, a very limited number of Guests will be able to enjoy Star Tours – The Adventures Continue and Toy Story Mania! as well as being able to meet Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and even receive a warm hug from Olaf.

New Entertainment Offerings Coming to Disney Springs

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With more than 20 different entertainment performances on any given night, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort is the place to be this summer. This charming and active area has been enhanced with many new updates including more live entertainment since the name changed from Downtown Disney.
Throughout the four Disney Springs neighborhoods, Guests can now enjoy live musicians, Living Statues, improvisational rappers and a roaming illusionist.

More Animals Join Animal Kingdom's Affection Section

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Ameraucana chickens, silver leghorn chickens, and naked-neck turkens are the newest animals to join the "Affection Section" at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Amereaucana chickens are known for laying eggs that are blue in color and for having a very sweet, social nature. Leghorn chickens are a heritage breed, are naturally mating, have a long and productive outdoor lifespan and have a slow growth rate. Leghorn chickens are currently still listed as a recovering breed. 

Reign of Kong Ride Officially Opens at Islands of Adventure

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Earlier today, guests gathered in Universal’s Islands of Adventure to help mark the official opening of Universal Orlando Resort’s newest mega attraction, Reign of Kong. This new ride brings the next generation of the King Kong legend to life on a massive scale. The adventure starts as guests are transported deep into a mysterious world, where their mission is to discover creatures of unknown origin with the 8th Wonder Expedition Company, the team leading the excursion. 

Magic Kingdom Update: New Castle Stage Show & More

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While the "spotlight" is definitely shining on Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom this summer, this surely doesn't mean that there's nothing new happening around Walt Disney World's most popular theme park.
Indeed, the new Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire show recently debuted, finally bringing a new castle stage show to the park. Additionally, work continues to be done along Main Street U.S.A. and in Liberty Square. Let's take a look around.