Great news for fans of live entertainment at Walt Disney World; in January it was announced that a modified version of Festival of the Lion King would be reopening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom later this year, and now we have more details. Earlier this week, President of Walt Disney World Resort, Jeff Vahle, posted on his Instagram:
Our cast is back in rehearsals for “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King,” preparing for the show’s mid-May debut as entertainment continues to return across Walt Disney World. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Vice President Sarah Riles and I stopped in to welcome them recently, and hearing that wonderful, familiar music put a lump in my throat. Thrilled to have these talented Cast Members back on our stage!
The modified version of Festival of the Lion King will have adjustments including updated choreography to allow for social distancing as well as how the audience is seated. Get ready to hear some of our favorite Lion King songs again such as “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” and “Circle of Life!”
Are you excited for Festival of the Lion King to reopen?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!
Do you have a tween in your family that you will soon be bringing to Walt Disney World? You might be wondering what there is for kids this age to do, and most importantly, will they have fun so you can. Well, you’re in luck, because there are many things for your tween and the entire family to enjoy together this summer. Here’s a list of 10 unforgettable ways for tweens and their families to experience the magic, courtesy of Disney:
Families planning their next visit to The Most Magical Place on Earth are in for a real treat. That’s especially true for families with tweens. With roller coasters and thrill attractions of all kinds and so much more, tweens can explore new and classic experiences, soak up the sun and indulge in some tasty tastes. From the must-have family photo in front of Cinderella Castle with its new royal colors to character dining experiences with picture-perfect views, here are 10 ways for tweens and families to spring into summer while vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort this year:
Splash into Fun at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park– This wintry-themed water park is celebrating the best summer ever in splashy style. It’s a great place to enjoy family fun together with big thrills for the kids and places for parents to relax.
Discover Paradise at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort– The tropical oasis along the shores of Seven Seas Lagoon is now accepting bookings for late July 2021. The reimagined guest rooms will surround guests with details, patterns and textures inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film “Moana.”
The Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival Blooms Through July 5 – The event combines the freshest flowers and flavors from around the world, featuring fun for the whole family from garden-inspired cuisine to lifelike character topiaries and new Orange Bird merchandise to complement any selfie. Guests who miss this festival have no reason to worry. On July 15, the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival will kick off and run through November 20, offering plenty of family-friendly fun.
Check Out the Royal Makeover of Cinderella Castle– The treasured icon at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park now features bold, shimmering and regal enhancements befitting its royal status. It makes a great photo backdrop with family and friends.
Celebrate the Magic of Nature– Explore Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, an immersive land featuring massive floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests and unbelievable experiences including Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. And from April 18 to 24, the park will connect guests with the magic of nature through Earth Week activities designed to educate, entertain and inspire the whole family.
Find Disney Characters in New Places–From cavalcades to caravans to flotillas and even special “pop-up” appearances, guests of all ages can discover favorite friends at all four theme parks and occasional special surprise appearances at Disney Resort hotels.
Step into an Adventure– AtDisney’s Hollywood Studios guests can step through a movie screen and into the cartoon world of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway They can also embark on an adventure in a galaxy far, far away at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the immersive, award-winning land featuring two thrilling attractions: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Here for the Food– Foodie options are limitless at Walt Disney World, whether sitting for a family meal or snacking between attractions. Guests can enjoy a family-style meal at Chef Mickey’s with Mickey Mouse and his pals at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, or visit Topolino’s Terrace– Flavors of the Riviera at Disney’s Riviera Resort for a fun character dining experience during Breakfast à la Art with Mickey & Friends and a beautiful view of Walt Disney World. EPCOT is another great place to grab a quick bite … or two … or three! The Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival offers more than 20 Outdoor Kitchens where guests can sample tastes and sips as diverse as Avocado Toast and a Maple Popcorn Shake. Top off the experience with classic Disney Parks snacks – buttery popcorn and the classic Mickey Ice Cream Bar are Walt Disney World theme park favorites.
Stroll, Dine and Shop for the Perfect Gift at Disney Springs – Guests visiting this shopping, dining and entertainment destination have plenty of new options to satisfy even the most demanding tastes. Disney Styleis the latest fashion-forward merchandise spot with a twist. Here, fashionistas find a curated assortment of trendy apparel and accessories inspired by beloved Disney characters and attractions. Tweens looking for a sweet treat can grab a handcrafted, photo-worthy donut at the newly opened Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew.
Relax Outdoors– Central Florida weather is traditionally gorgeous this time of year, and Walt Disney World offers special ways to enjoy outdoor recreation, including miniature golf, fishing expeditions, horseback riding and more.
Have you traveled to Walt Disney World with a tween?
What did they enjoy the most? Please leave a comment!
With Earth Day right around the corner get ready to celebrate at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort. Running from April 18 through April 24, 2021, guests can enjoy exploring nature with many exciting experiences for the entire family during the annual Earth Week Celebration. Here’s what we know so far about this fun filled event, courtesy of Disney:
While Disney theme parks celebrate all living things every day, during the upcoming Earth Week Celebration there’s an added opportunity for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park guests to connect with the magic of nature through engaging activities designed to educate and inspire the whole family.
From April 18 to 24, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will host limited-time experiences including unique Disney character appearances, fun learning opportunities, specialty merchandise, themed food and beverage, a new Wilderness Explorer activity and more.
The Animation Experience at Conservation Station shows how Disney Artists bring favorite characters to life by using animals for inspiration. For the Earth Week Celebration, guests can learn to draw characters – including Dumbo, Terk, Squirt, Shere Khan, Simba and Scar – whose real-life counterparts represent amazing stories of conservation work around the globe.
Guests can catch a glimpse of some special characters who will join other favorite Disney pals on Discovery River Character Cruises.
A sampling of Earth Week eats include a selection of limited-time specialty cupcakes: the Creature Comfort’s Honey Bee Cupcake, the strawberry-flavored Flamingo Cupcake at Flame Tree Barbecue or the Sea Turtle Graham Cracker Cupcake. Specialty beverages include The Red Crowned Crane, a frozen Coke topped with frozen Cherry Coke and strawberry cotton candy; adults can spice it up with Captain Morgan Rum.
A series of self-guided, nature-themed challenges invite guests to earn a special Wilderness Explorer limited-time Earth Day Nature badge.
Guests can hunt for an Earth Day 2021 limited-edition Te Fiti Moana trading pin, and also support the Disney Conservation Fund by purchasing a cuddly plush inspired by species that call Disney’s Animal Kingdom home; or check out Island Mercantile’s eco-friendly water bottles, tumblers and reusable bags that promote sustainability.
Any time guests visit the park, they can marvel at unique animals and meet the newest arrivals. Most recently, the park welcomed the birth of Ranger, and guests can get a glimpse of the rambunctious 5-month-old calf and his rhino family on a journey aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris. While on safari, guests can also keep an eye out for two young Masai giraffe who were born a few months ago, and playful Nigerian dwarf goats that hang out at the warden’s outpost.
Beginning April 2, guests can watch artisans transform 40 tons of sand into a detailed sculpture celebrating National Geographic’s “Secrets of the Whales,” an original series streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. The intricate sculpted masterpiece will be located on the Discovery Island Stage until April 30.
Will you be celebrating Earth Week at Animal Kingdom?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!
Whew! We made it; 2020 is over, and 2021 is finally here! If you’re like me, you probably have big hopes and plans for this year. If that happens to include a trip to Walt Disney World, you’re in luck, because Disney has lots of magic planned for this year. Check out some of the festive fun on deck throughout the Walt Disney World Resort in early 2021 courtesy of Disney:
Walt Disney World Resort is ready to help guests make the new year magical. From new and classic attractions to culinary experiences to character interactions and more, The Most Magical Place on Earth has plenty to offer those wanting to immediately turn the page on 2020. Here are 21 reasons to be excited about a visit to Walt Disney World in early 2021:
Explore the Taste of EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, Beginning January 8 – Through February 22, guests are invited to an expansive collection of visual, performance and culinary arts throughout the park.
Gaze Upon the Reimagined Entrance Fountain at EPCOT – The new water feature in front of Spaceship Earth hearkens back to the park’s origins and highlights a greener, more open and welcoming entry experience for guests. The fountain is the most recent milestone in the historic transformation of EPCOT now underway.
Step Inside the Cartoon World of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Guests go through the movie screen as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Engineer Goofy and Pluto take them on a trip through Runnamuck Park … where anything can happen!
Embark on a Star Wars Adventure in a Galaxy Far, Far Away – Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also home to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the immersive, award-winning land featuring two thrilling attractions: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
Check Out Cinderella Castle’s Royal Makeover – The treasured icon at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park now features bold, shimmering and regal enhancements befitting its royal status, making for a great photo with family and friends.
Experience Classic Attractions at Magic Kingdom Park – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world,” Pirates of the Caribbean, Space Mountain … the new year is a great time for guests to reconnect with these classics loved by millions the world over.
Watch for More New Residents on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Nigerian dwarf goats now play like kids at the warden’s outpost near the end of Kilimanjaro Safaris.
Bask in the Cuteness of Baby Animals – In addition to the Nigerian dwarf goats, guests can try and catch a glimpse of some of the animals born in 2020 at Walt Disney World while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris, for example, they may see young Masai giraffe now out on the savanna.
Celebrate the Magic of Nature in Pandora – The World of Avatar – At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, guests can travel to the Valley of Mo’ara to hike among the floating mountains of Pandora and experience two awe-inspiring attractions: Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey.
Find Disney Characters in New Places – From cavalcades to caravans to flotillas and even special “pop-up” appearances, guests can discover favorite friends at all four theme parks and the occasional special surprise at Disney Resort hotels.
Hop from Park to Park – Beginning January 1, guests who purchase a ticket or annual pass with Park Hopper benefits will be able to visit more than one park per day (with some new modifications).
Indulge in Sweet New Treats at Disney Springs – Guests visiting the shopping, dining and entertainment district of Walt Disney World have plenty of new options to satisfy their sweet spots, including newly opened Gideon’s Bakehouse, along with the forthcoming M&M’S store and Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew.
Pick Out the Perfect Post-Holiday Gift – Disney Springs is also the place for guests to find a little something they may have missed on their holiday shopping list. From the massive World of Disney store to quaint boutiques and just about everything in between, Disney Springs is home to the latest Disney merchandise and on-trend accessories, apparel and gear from other top brands.
Return to Favorite Disney Restaurants – As part of the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, restaurants continue to return to operation across The Most Magical Place on Earth. Recent reopenings include The Crystal Palace inside Magic Kingdom and the character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s inside Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
Make Some Time to Relax Outdoors – Central Florida weather is often gorgeous in the early months of the year, and Walt Disney World offers special ways to enjoy some outdoor recreation, including golf and miniature golf, fishing expeditions, horseback riding and more.
Buzz Through the Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, Blooming in March – Beginning March 3, guests will find fresh cuisine, creative gardens and unforgettable topiaries as part of this annual festival.
Soak Up the Sun at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park – After remaining closed for all of 2020 due to the pandemic, this wintry-themed water park is planning to reopen in March and celebrate its 25th season in splashy style.
Look for Some Fresh Pixie Dust at the Entrances to Walt Disney World – Guests can make new memories as they pass these iconic gateways to The Most Magical Place on Earth, which are receiving a refreshed color palette complementing the recent Cinderella Castle makeover.
Add Extra Theme Park Magic to Vacations – Available to book beginning January 5, 2021, guests buying non-discounted four-night/three-day room and ticket packages at select Disney Resort hotels for arrivals most nights January 8, 2021, through September 25, 2021, will receive an additional two days of theme park tickets.
Florida Residents Can Take Advantage of a Special Ticket Offer – Beginning January 4, 2021, the four-day Florida Resident Discover Disney Ticket invites Floridians to visit any of the four Disney parks through June 18, 2021 (subject to blockout dates), for a special price of $199 (plus tax).
Get Excited for Even More Magic Later this Year – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the new family-friendly attraction coming to the France pavilion in EPCOT, will debut in 2021. And the new Cirque du Soleil show “Drawn to Life,” coming to Disney Springs, will be a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Animation Studios and Walt Disney Imagineering.
As a reminder, Walt Disney World continues to operate with enhanced health and safety policies so everyone can enjoy the magic responsibly. To manage attendance, guests are required to have valid theme park admission and make a park reservation for each day of their visit through the Disney Park Pass system. Please click here for more information.
Heading to Disney World soon?
If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:
Even though we will not be celebrating the Halloween season with the family friendly Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, there will still be plenty of fall fun this year including lots of delicious foods! Check out some of the festive treats being served up through the end of October throughout the Walt Disney World Resort courtesy of Disney:
It’s spooky season again at Walt Disney World Resort, and that means it’s time for the highly-anticipated return of our yummy fall eats and treats! From pumpkin spice, apple, and cinnamon delights to sweet sips and fun novelties, each of our four parks is offering a wonderful assortment of autumn-themed items and you won’t want to miss them.
All offerings are available now unless otherwise specified. Happy snacking!
Mickey Cinnamon Roll (Available at Main Street Bakery) – Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll drizzled with orange and white icing
Cinnamon Donuts (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) – Served in a Hitchhiking Ghost Novelty container
Hades Nachos (Available at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café) – Black bean nacho chips with “fiery” buffalo chicken, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, and jalapeño
Constance’s For Better or For Worse Wedding Cake (Available at Liberty Square Market) – Citrus cake with raspberry Bavarian cream, whipped cream flowers, and a chocolate axe
Pumpkin Spiced Waffle Sundae (Available at Sleepy Hollow) –Pumpkin spice-flavored waffled topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and sprinkles
Poor Unfortunate Souls Float(Available at Storybook Treats)– Cream cheese soft-serve, black raspberry syrup, and Coke
Pumpkin Spice Milkshake (Available at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, sprinkles, and a Mickey-shaped marshmallow straw
Pumpkin Spice Soft-Serve Sundae (Available at Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies) – Served as a sundae topped with whipped cream, caramel, and sprinkles
Mickey Monster Mash Burger (Available at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café) – Burger with Meunster cheese, potato barrels, bacon, and sriracha aïoli
Headless Horseman Rides Again (Available at Sunshine Tree Terrace) – Strawberry DOLE® Whip with Fanta Strawberry and a Headless Horseman Novelty Straw
Not So Poison Apple Cupcake (Available at Pinocchio Village House) – A spiced apple cupcake with pecan crunch buttercream themed after a poison apple
Orange and Black Sugar Churros (Available at Various Churro Carts and Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café)
Oogie Boogie Dice Novelty Glow Cubes (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants)
Jack Skellington Sipper (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants and Outdoor Vending Locations)
Oogie Boogie Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)
Mickey Pumpkin Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)
Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at Various Popcorn Carts)
Hitchhiking Ghost Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Liberty Square Popcorn Cart)
Hitchhiking Ghost Sipper (Available at Various Quick-Service Restaurants)
Madame Leota Sipper (Available at Sleepy Hollow)
Halloween Cupcake (Available on Halloween Day Only at Sunshine Seasons) – Choice of vanilla or chocolate cupcake with buttercream and a Mickey Pumpkin garnish
Nemo & Squirt’s Noggin Concoction (Available on Halloween Day Only at Coral Reef Restaurant) – Chocolate brownie stuffed with a chocolate chip cookie topped with white chocolate-covered pretzels and a Mickey Pumpkin Garnish
Halloween Sugar Cookie (Available on Halloween Day Only at Traveler’s Café and Garden Grill) – Sugar cookie topped with Halloween Sprinkles
Liquid Nitro Cake Pop (Available on Halloween Day Only at Desserts & Champagne Marketplace in World Showplace for EPCOT Taste of International Food & Wine Festival) – Liquid nitro chocolate cake pop with Halloween sprinkles
Green Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Eats at EPCOT Experience and Mission Space Popcorn Cart)
Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at all EPCOT Popcorn Locations)
Tire Pumpkin Novelty Straw (Available at Sunshine Seasons and Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Scar Cupcake (Available at Creature Comforts, Flame Tree Barbecue, and Restaurantosaurus) – Red velvet cupcake with toasted marshmallow filling, chocolate marshmallow frosting, chocolate pebbles, white chocolate flames, and an edible icing image
Spooky Apple Punch Specialty Beverage (Non-Alcoholic) (Available at Flame Tree Barbecue and Isle of Java) – Sprite with Monin Apple Syrup poured over ice, garnished with a rock candy apple straw, a gummy worm, a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube, and a sugar lime rim
Rotten Apple Punch Specialty Beverage (Alcoholic) (Available Flame Tree Barbecue) – Angry Orchard and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky over ice, garnished with a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube, and gummy worms
Tire Pumpkin Novelty Straw (Available at Tamu Tamu, Trek Snacks, Restaurantosaurus, TriloBites, and Outdoor Vending Ice Cream Carts)
Purple Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Trek Snacks)
Halloween Base Popcorn Bucket (Available at Trek Snacks)
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Poison Candied Apple (Available at Trolley Car Café) – Apple and caramel mousse covered in red glaze with a crunchy candy base
Pumpkin Cheesecake Cannoli (Available at PizzeRizzo) – Pumpkin cheesecake mixed with a hazelnut praline crunch in a cannoli shell
Pumpkin Tiramisu (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café) –Layers of cream mascarpone and spiced pumpkin cake
Box of Bones Chocolate Éclair (Available at Backlot Express)– Chocolate éclair with dark chocolate mousse and white chocolate bones
Frozen Apple Cider (Non-Alcoholic) (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café, Backlot Express, and PizzeRizzo) – Served with a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube
Frozen Apple Cider with Crown Royal Regal Apple (Alcoholic) (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café, Backlot Express, and PizzeRizzo) – Served with a Novelty Poison Apple Glow Cube
Orange Cauldron Premium Popcorn Bucket (Available at Anahiem Produce, Hollywood Popcorn, and Animation Popcorn)
Tire Pumpkin Novelty Straw (Available at Rosie’s All-American Café, Backlot Express, PizzeRizzo, and Anaheim Produce)
Heading to Disney World soon?
If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money: