September Changes and News

This was a huge month for changes at Walt Disney World. Here’s a look at the biggest headlines!

Kringla Bakeri og Kafe Reopens

The house of the School Bread has officially reopened at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. The new floor plan is more spacious and cleaner looking.

Magic Kingdom Updates Smoking Locations

Frontierleand and the Main Entrance locations remain the same but the location on the walkway between Storybook Circus and Tomorrowland has been closed, probably to make room for Tron construction. A new location can be found near the restrooms in Tomorrowland. 

Benefits for Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels will continue into 2019

Benefits include being able to participate in Extra Magic Hours and booking FastPasses 60 days in advance.

Disney After Hours at the Magic Kingdom will continue into 2019.

The dates added are as follows:

December 3: 10pm – 1am
December 10: 10pm – 1am
January 7: 8pm – 11pm
January 17: 8pm – 11pm
January 24: 8pm – 11pm
January 28: 8pm – 11pm
February 7: 8pm – 11pm
February 14: 9pm – 12am
February 28: 8pm – 11pm
March 7: 9pm – 12am

In addition to the new dates, the cost has risen to $125 plus tax for ages 3+.

Water Parks Closing for Refurbishment

Blizzard Beach will be closing October 28, 2018 thru January 5, 2019. Typhoon Lagoon will then close January 6, 2019 thru March 16, 2019.

New Dedicated Support for Passholders

As part of the new V.I.Passholder initiative, a dedicated customer support line will be open for Passholders to answer all questions and issues related to Annual Passes. The new line can be reached at 407-WDW-PASS (407-939-7277) between 7am and 11pm. You can also chat online be going to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/passholder-program/.

Disney Design-a-Tee Closes and Replacement Announced

The store opened in the Disney Springs Marketplace in 2008. It’s closing now as the partnership with Hanes and Disney has come to an end. The replacement store should open up January of 2019 and is expected to feature the same kind of concept with the ability to customize not just t-shirts but other Disney merchandise as well.

Lovepop Coming to Disney Springs

As seen on Shark Tank, the 3D greeting card company will have a space in the Marketplace Co-Op beginning this fall.

Large Discount for Passholders at Maria and Enzo’s and Enzo’s Hideaway

Both restaurants will be offering a 40% off discount on lunch thru the end of the year.

Swan and Dolphin Building a New Tower

The tower will be 14 stories tall and will add 349 guest rooms, a meeting space, a pool and a restaurant and bar. It’s scheduled to open in 2020 and will be built where the current tennis courts are located.

New Store for LittleMissMatched Former Location

The former LittleMissMatched store in the Marketplace at Disney Springs will become an Art of Disney gallery. No word on the official opening date.

Pricing Structure Changes for Minnie Van Service

Disney has eliminated the $25 flat rate and will move to a distance based fee. They will also be expanding to hotels outside of the Disney operated locations including Bonnet Creek, Flamingo Crossing and Hotel Plaza Blvd. hotels.

New Wreck-It Ralph VR Experience Announced

Location and ticket availability is yet to be determined but it should opening before the close of the Fall. The current VOID experience featuring Star Wars located in Disney Springs will remain open.

Star Lord and Groot to Be Replaced by Mike and Sulley

The Meet and Greet at the end of Walt Disney Presents featuring Star Lord and Groot had its final day on September 29. Mike and Sulley from Monsters Inc. will replace them beginning January 18, 2019.

Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! Street Party Will Be Replaced

The final show for Move It! Shake It! Dance and Play It! will be on December 1, 2018. The replacement show called Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! will debut on January 18, 2019. The new show will feature Mickey and Minnie and their pals in front of Cinderella Castle accompanied by live performers singing classic Mickey Mouse Club songs. It sounds like it’s going to be similar to the previous Street Party but without the parade down Main St.

Ziploc Bag Distribution Beginning Soon at Splash Mountain

Disney has struck a sponsorship deal with S.C. Johnson and part of the deal is guests will have access to Ziploc bags at Splash Mountain to store items they don’t wish to get wet. There will be recycling options at the end of the ride if you don’t wish to keep your bag. 

Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial Comes to an End

The show had its final performance on 9/29. There is no word on whether anything will replace it.

Illuminations Reflections of Earth to be replaced in 2019

The current Illuminations will play thru end of summer 2019 and the new show will debut immediately after. No details about the new show have been released yet.

Star Wars A Galaxy Far, Far Away Show Closes Temporarily

Concrete work is being performed in the area of the stage. The show should resume late November.

New Up Close with Rhinos Tour Coming to Animal Kingdom

The new adventure will be 60 minutes and guided. You will get a behind-the-scenes look at how the animal care team cares for the white rhinos on the Kilimanjaro Safari. You might even get to touch one. The tour will be offered each day beginning November 1. Booking has already begun. Guests must be 4 years old to participating. The cost is $40 per person. Discounts are available to passholders and DVC members. Call 407-WDW-PLAY to make a reservation.

Metroville City Block Coming to Pixar Place in Hollywood Studios

Beginning January 18, 2019 the old Pixar Place will be transformed into The Incredibles home of Metroville. A character meet and greet for Edna Mode will be added. At the end of the block will be a party featuring Mr. Incredible, Mrs. Incredible, Frozen, music, dancing and games. It sounds like there will be also be some kind of interactive scavenger hunt type game within the block to find Jack-Jack.

2019 Festival of Arts Dates Announced

The Epcot Festive of the Arts will run from January thru February 25. The Disney on Broadway Concert Series is expanding to seven days a week during the festival in 2019.

2019 International Flower and Garden Festival Dates Announced

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival will take place from March 6th thru June 3rd. The Garden Rocks Concert Series will be expanding to seven days a week in 2019.

New Dance Party Coming to Animal Kingdom

The Hakuna Matata Dance Party will start January 18, 2019 on Discovery Island and will run thru September 30, 2019. The party will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Lion King and features Timon and Rafiki.

The Plaza Restaurant to Offer Breakfast

It appears this is a trial run to see how it works out. Breakfast will be offered beginning November 4 thru January 5, 2019 from 8am to 10:30am. You can make reservations for it now.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch Closing 

The last day for operation will be October 21, 2018 and for a while there was no indication from Disney that it would ever reopen but recently Disney announced they will reopen the area in spring of 2019. Of course changes are to be expected but no word on what they may be. 

Magic Kingdom Club 33 Now Open

The construction walls are down and it appears the club is now open for operation.

New Vacation Planning Site 

Disney is launching a new site to assist guests with planning their vacations, especially with the new date-based ticket system. The new site will launch on October 16. The site will have a calendar that displays different prices based on the dates the guest inputs. You can also see what days have the lowest prices.

New Single-Day Ticket Prices All Parks the Same

Previously the Magic Kingdom was priced more than the other three parks but starting October 16 all parks will now be priced the same for single-day ticket purchases. Prices will be between $109 and $129 depending on the season.

Changes to Early Morning Magic at Magic Kingdom

The bad news is the price is increasing. The good news is so is the amount of attractions open. Currently EMH includes breakfast at Pinocchio Village Haus, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Peter Pan’s Flight. Starting December breakfast will be moved to Cosmic Ray’s and the following attractions will be added to the line-up: Princess Fairytale Hall, it’s a small world, Mad Tea Party and Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid. The time is also changing and giving guests another 15 minutes making the new start time 7:45am. Ticket prices are now $79 for adults and $69 for children, a $10 increase.

Liberty Square Riverboat Refurbishments are Running Behind

The reopening date has been pushed back yet again to late December. The Riverboat has been closed since January of 2018 and was supposed to have been open currently.

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