The 9 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World (And Beyond) This Week

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This week at Walt Disney World, Epcot splits its guest tram route in two to make way for entrance improvements, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway gets delayed until next year plus Disney’s Hollywood Studios sets plans for its 30th anniversary celebration! 

Outside Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens Tampa opens its latest record-breaking roller coaster, Universal raises prices, plus a new sneak peek at Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is revealed! 

1. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios delayed until 2020

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Though the plan was originally to open Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway alongside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to help give this park some extra capacity, it looks like there has been a bit of a delay, with Disney confirming that this attraction will now open in spring 2020. And though this definitely won’t help the opening day crowds for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, it may be a good thing to open this attraction closer to the much-anticipated debut of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which currently does not have an opening target. 

2.  Epcot begins entrance transformation, splits tram route into two

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The project to completely overhaul the entrance of Epcot began in earnest this week, with much of the front of the park’s entryway now walled off, including the former tram stop. Guests who use courtesy trams are now dropped off much farther away from the park entrance, and must now use either East or West trams to get back to their vehicle. In addition, there is now separate security for guests who arrive by car and those who arrive by bus/monorail. 

3. New details released about Disney Skyliner project

Though we don’t have an official opening date yet, Disney has been quietly testing its new Skyliner transportation option for several months now, suggesting that guests won’t have to wait too much longer to check the Skyliner out for themselves. In the meantime though, Disney has released a new video (above) as well as new facts about this new system. When it opens, the Disney Skyliner gondola system will feature 300 cabins, with 22 different character themes and eight vibrant colors. Each gondola is designed to accommodate up to 10 Guests, including those traveling with wheelchairs or assistive devices. With the system constantly in motion, most rides will take just a few minutes, and the cabins are specifically tailored to provide a relaxing ride in Florida’s climate.

4. Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th Anniversary Celebration happening May 1st


Disney’s Hollywood Studios is celebrating its milestone 30th anniversary in just a few days and there will be plenty of amazing limited time entertainment and merchandise for guests who can make it to this special day. First up is a Star-Studded Celebration cavalcade parade starring Mickey and friends which will celebrate this park’s history and step off at 10:00 AM and will head down Hollywood Blvd.

Guests entering the park on this special day can also grab a free special 30th anniversary commemorative guide map and button that will only be available on May 1st, 2019. 

At the end of the day, Disney will also debut thier “Wonderful World of Animation” new nighttime projection show, which will light up the park for the first time on this special day. This new show will take guests on a magical journey through more than 90 years of Disney animation, all beginning with Mickey himself, and featuring beloved Disney and Pixar characters from films like Wreck-It Ralph, Coco, The Incredibles, Frozen, Cars, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and more. This new show will debut at exactly 9:05 PM, just before the park’s nightly Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular. 

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After the park closes, there will also be a special anniversary edition of Disney After Hours that will not only feature walk-on access to the park’s most iconic rides (including the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Slinky Dog Dash), but also some beloved Disney characters ready to greet guests in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard, at Star Wars Launch Bay and more. There will also be a special encore performance of “Wonderful World of Animation” taking place exclusively for event attendees.

And of course it wouldn’t be a Disney anniversary celebration without limited edition merchandise! Themed shirts, pins, MagicBands, ornaments and more will all be available for guests who want to commemorate this landmark ocassion. In an effort to keep shoppers from overwhelming the park, guests who wish to make purchases can actually begin shopping at 8:00 AM in Grand Park, before the park opens at 9:00 AM.  

Finally, special anniversary food & beverage items will be available throughout the park on May 1st, including Kylo Ren Cupcakes, Incredibles Macarons, Tres Leches Verrine and more.

5. PizzeRizzo to reopen temporarily


Though PizzeRizzo at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has not been open very long, this eatery closed down last fall as part of sweeping cuts that hit Walt Disney World in 2018. However, it looks like PizzeRizzo will reopen to Guests on May 4th, operating daily for lunch and dinner 11:00 AM to 1 hour before park close all through the month of May, and part of June before closing again, probably for good until Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens later this year. And if you’re wondering why this dining location is suddently coming back to life for this brief period…

6. Grapefruit parking garage at Disney Springs now officially open

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After a few small delays, as of this week the Grapefruit Garage is now open at Disney Springs. This new parking garage connects to Disney Springs using a pedestrian bridge over Buena Vista Drive that leads directly into the Marketplace area of the shopping district where World of Disney is. The Grapefruit Garage provides additional parking for Disney Springs guests and Cast Members, located just across the street from the Lime Garage.

The $58 million garage features an additional 3,000 parking spaces, and feature the same space tracking technology that makes finding a space in the Lime and Orange garages so easy. 

7. Tigris now open at Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has officially opened Tigris this week, a brand new triple -launch steel coaster that will take riders through a series of looping twists with forward and backward motion, drops, a 150-foot surge skyward, with speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. Riders will race along over 1,800 feet of steel track that’s designed to emulate the agility of a tiger.

Busch Gardens Pass Members wanting to experience this attraction without the wait can ride this attraction from 8:00 – 10:00 AM on May 4-5 and 11-12. 

8. New details about Hagrid’s Creatures Magical Motorbike Adventure revealed

 This week Universal shared more details about the magical creatures guests will encounter on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, opening on June 13. In addition to a first look at a truly impressive Fluffy animatronic (which you can see above), Universal confirmed that Centaurs, Cornish Pixies, a Blast-Ended Skrewt and Devil’s Snare will all be a part of this brand new ride at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade. 

9. Universal Orlando Resort hikes prices on single- and multi-day tickets

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Earlier this week the price of several types of Universal Orlando Resort theme park admission tickets unexpectedly went up. An “Anytime” One Day, One Park ticket has gone up to $135 per guest, which is an increase of $6. A “Regular” One Day, One Park ticket has also gone up to $125, which is an increase of $3 over the previous price. Rounding out these basic tickets is the “Value” One Day, One Park ticket (which is only valid during the “off” season)  has increased to $115, up just $1. All children’s tickets have gone up by the same amounts as well. In addition to the One-Day, One Park, variable pricing, ticket prices went up on multi-day tickets as well. You can see the full breakdown of the new prices here

News Source: Theme Park Tourist.

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