August News and Changes Recap

Festival of the Lion King Dining Packages

Tier I and Tier II options available. Both include lunch or dinner at Tiffins and priority VIP seating at Festival of the Lion King with a commemorative cast photo. Tier I also includes a safari tour through the African outback escorted by a special guide. Tear I costs $99 per adult and $49 per ages 3-9. Tier II costs $74 per adult and $29 for ages 3-9. Reservations can be made now online or by calling 407-929-3463. Packages are running thru November 21 right now but I suspect they will extend this out at some point.

STK Steakhouse in Disney Springs Now Offering Lunch

Lunch is served 11 AM – 2:30 PM Monday thru Friday and 11 AM – 3 PM on Saturday and Sunday. The lunch menu includes the raw bar, sandwiches, burgers and of course steak.

Vampirina Coming to Hollywood Studios.

Her first appearance will begin on September 30th for the Disney Junior Play ‘n’ Dine breakfast at Hollywood and Vine. She will be taking Jake’s spot. She’ll also be replacing Jake at Animation Courtyard later in the fall. Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins and Pluto will remain.

Chicken Guy! Now Open at Disney Springs

The restaurant is partly owned by star chef Guy Fieri and features great fried or grilled chicken and 22 different dipping sauces. Open 11 AM – Midnight.

Coronado Springs’ Main Pool Closing for Refurbishment

The pool will close on September 4th and is expected to reopen December 13th. The Siestas Cantina Pool Bar will also close on the same date and is expected to reopen on January 6th, 2019. All other pools on the resort will still be available.

Festival of Fantasy Parade Time Change for Event Days

On days where there’s Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the parade will move to 2 PM instead of 3 PM.

Baby Mandrill Monkey Born at Animal Kingdom

The monkeys can be seen on Kilimanjaro Safaris. Look out for the mom and baby. Gender and birth weight have yet to be announced.

Tomorrowland Speedway and Walt Disney World Railroad Closing Temporarily

The WDW Railroad will close in December 2018 so they can begin moving construction materials into the space where the new Tron coaster will be built. During this time the train will be stopped giving guests the chance to get up close to it and take photos. Tomorrowland Speedway will be close for a portion of 2019 while the track is adjusted to make room for Tron. It will reopen in the summer of 2019.

Major Changes to Bus Loading/Unloading Zones at Hollywood Studios

The original resort bus loop is closed and all busses are using the new charter bus stop area. A new resort bus stop is being built now. The completion date is not known.

Shop Disney Parks App and My Disney Experience App Merge

You can now access Shop Disney Parks thru the My Disney Experience App eliminating the need for two separate apps.

New Table Service Restaurant Coming to Caribbean Beach Resort

The new restaurant will be called Sebastian’s Bistro and it will feature a Latin/Caribbean menu. It will replace Shutters restaurant. Opening date is unknown.

Construction Begins for New Lobby in WDW Swan Resort

Guests at the resort now will notice the construction happening for the redesigned lobby that will be completed by the end of 2018.

Early Morning Magic Now an Option for Toy Story Land

Beginning on September 17th, guests will be able to purchase the Early Morning Magic experience for Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. The experience includes breakfast and takes place in the morning before the park opens. For now the days available are Mondays and Wednesdays from 7:30 AM to 8:45 AM. It costs $79 for adults and $69 for kids ages 3-9. Theme park admission also required.

Digital Key Being Rolled Out to All Resorts

The ability to unlock your room from the My Disney Experience app on your phone will be rolled out to all the resorts. The feature can also be used to unlock hotel entrance gate, pool gates, and fitness centers. You will still be able to use your MagicBand if you prefer that option.

Aella the Baby Giraffe is on the Savanna

The 2-month old Masai giraffe calf can now be seen with her mom Lily on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Sammy Duvall’s Leaves Disney

Sammy Duvall’s closed their Disney property locations on August 31st. They offered parasailing and other watersport activities for resort guests. It seems the close was rather sudden and they are refunding those who had reservations made after the closing date. It’s unknown if Disney will replace them or not.

Artist Point to Become a Character Dining Location

The Wilderness Lodge Restaurant will operate as a signature restaurant thru November 10th and then it will switch over to a character dining experience. The characters will be Snow White, Dopey, and Grumpy. Disney is saying there will also be opportunities to meet The Queen but it is unknown if it will be all the time or possibly only at dinner. The menu will be changing to prix fixe.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ Closing

The final performance will be on December 31st. Hoop Dee Doo will remain and they may bring back a similar Backyard BBQ experience at a later time. There are plans underway to add DVC additions to Fort Wilderness but what will be added is unclear and Disney has yet to make any official announcements.

Tatooine Traders Undergoing Refurbishments

The shopping location will partially close on September 5th and is expected to relaunch mid-October. The Droid factory won’t be available at this time and Amazing Pictures will be moved to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

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