The 8 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World This Week

This week at Walt Disney World, the biggest news was the date announcement for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which is now confirmed to be opening before the end of the year. However, there are quite a number of other things happening this week as well, including the opening of a brand new resort expansion!

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando brings back a passholder appreciation event, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure gets another operational change, plus

1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to open later this year

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Though Disneyland’s version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was open first, it looks like Walt Disney World’s version will be the first to be complete, as Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is set to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios before the end of the year, on December 5, 2019, just in time for the busy holiday season! 

2. Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration to end September 30

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Mickey and Minnie’s Surprise Celebration at Magic Kingdom, will officially come to an end on September 30, which means guests only have a few more weeks to experience the following:

  • Mickey and Minnie greeting guests together inside Town Square Theater, sporting all-new colorful outfits for their special celebration.
  • The re-imagined Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party
  • Surprise characters meeting guests at the flagpole on Main Street USA. Characters may include (but are not limited to) Nick and Judy from Zootopia,  Remy and Emile from Ratatouille, and Robin Hood and Friar Tuck from Robin Hood. 

3. Gran Destino Tower now open

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This week Walt Disney World opened the Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, which adds 545 modern guest rooms (including 50 suites and club-level services), a grand two-story lobby, new meeting venues, new lounges and a rooftop restaurant with spectacular views

4. Extended refurbishment has been confirmed for Disney’s Blizzard Beach

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Walt Disney World Resort announced earlier this week that “additional refurbishment work and enhancements” will take place at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park later this year, resulting in a longer than usual closure for this park than we’ve seen in previous years. Right now, Blizzard Beach is set to close for refurbishment beginning on September 8, 2019 and will reopen sometime in early 2020 (no firm date has been set yet).

5. Primeval Whirl continues to be closed due to mysterious technical issues

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Several weeks ago on June 17, the Walt Disney World Resort released an advisory informing Guests that Primeval Whirl would be closed until further notice due to unspecified technical issues. And though we still don’t know exactly what is happening with this attraction Disney has confirmed that this attraction will be closed through at least the end of the month which means that while we could theoretically see this attraction reopen in August, there’s no guarantee that will actually happen, as Disney previously missed its July 3 reopening date. Guests with FastPass+ reservations for Primeval Whirl during this extended downtime will receive a replacement FastPass for an attraction of the same tier automatically in their My Disney Experience app.  We don’t know yet what is causing this attraction to malfunction so seriously, but hopefully it is fixed soon! 

6. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Cast Member previews to begin August 1


Disney has announced that Cast Members will have the opportunity to register for a preview of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on select dates and times in August at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Sign-ups for Cast Member previews will open on Monday, July 22 with select dates and times available August 1-16. Cast Members will be able to bring one Guest to the preview. The preview window will allow you to experience the land for up to four hours.

7. Universal Orlando Resort announces annual passholder appreciation event

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Universal Orlando Resort will kick off  its annual passholder appreciation event on August 12th with events, discounts and benefits available now through September 30. In addition to free after hours events that guests can register for here, Universal will also be handing out free buttons and magnets for annual passholders as well! ADVERTISING

8. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure gets another operational update

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Though Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure has been open for almost a full month, it looks like the technical issues that have plagued this attraction since its grand opening are not going away any time soon. A few weeks ago Universal announced that they would start opening this attraction at midday, every day, and would be using the morning hours to perform maintenance on the ride to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible for as long as possible before they close the ride for capacity. 

However, Universal switched gears this week, and said that from this point on they will be opening the ride in the morning, but closing it early before the park closes to perform routine maintenance. And though the timing has changed, our advice to those who are visiting this park and want to experience this attraction remains the same: get there early

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