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Ears the News: December 8, 2017 Edition

Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

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Disney will be making daily announcements about its new and upcoming parks and resorts projects beginning December 5th.

Part of the first ever 12 Days of Disney Parks Christmas, details will be announced daily from December 5 through to December 16, 2017.

Disney says it will reveal:
  • Never-before-seen images and video 
  • New resort hotel experiences 
  • Delectable new dining options 
  • Special Disney Parks events 
  • Updates about new attractions announced at D23 Expo 

Disney will be giving away a special holiday magnet to Annual Passholders at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

This Passholder gift is available December 1 through December 17, 2017 at the following retail locations: Mickey’s of Hollywood, Celebrity 5 & 10 and Once Upon a Time.

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Beginning December 17 2017, breakfast hours for the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno are being extended.

The character dining experience that includes Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel and Prince Eric will be available from 7:30 AM to 12:00 PM.

Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno costs $34 for adults, and $20 for children, and is 1 credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Disney has given us some more details regarding the backstories on the three new restaurants and one new bar coming to Disney Springs in the next month.

The Edison
The building, which originally served as the power plant for the growing town of Disney Springs, showcases remnants from its past life: keep an eye out for the Boiler Bar, with its electrical display panels, and the adjacent boilers, which are still classic centerpieces of any power plant.

The d├ęcor includes a one-of-a-kind mural romanticizing the golden age of innovation and a larger-than-life, working clock tower that greets guests upon arrival.

By day, The Edison will welcome families, in the early evening, everyone is invited to dine, but as night sets in (around 10:00 p.m.), the location transforms to an adults-only scene for guests ages 21 and up, with a groundbreaking beverage menu, dining and entertainment unlike anything else at Disney Springs.

Maria & Enzo's
Adjacent to The Edison is a trifecta of Italian venues, located in what was once the Disney Springs Air Terminal, a majestic Art Deco structure that welcomed guests from across the globe to a world of sun, beauty and legendary hospitality. As the story goes, the air terminal was popular into the early 1930s, but travelers diminished as the years brought on more modern flying alternatives and larger destinations. Upon its closure, the building was purchased by an Italian immigrant couple named Maria & Enzo; the duo had previously run the small bakery in the terminal’s lobby.

Pizza Ponte
Inspired by their shared love of food and travel, they opened Pizza Ponte – a favorite of Disney Springs locals for a quick bite any time of the day or night – with Sicilian-style pizza by the slice, made-to-order sandwiches and handmade Italian pastries. The success of this venue allowed Maria and Enzo to fulfill their ultimate dream to restore and transform the long-forgotten terminal to its former glory, giving it new life as a grand restaurant showcasing the flavors of Southern Italy.

Named after its founders, Maria & Enzo’s features vaulted ceilings, a geographically correct mural depicting the destinations once serviced by the terminal…New York, Daytona Beach, New Orleans and Cuba among them…and an impressive globe chandelier. (Insider Tip: Look closely and you can see that Disney-inspired locations are called out, including a marker that denotes Marceline, Missouri – the hometown of Walt Disney!) The main dining room pays homage to the original departure lounge while nearby, a more intimate dining room highlights its history as the first-class lounge with service standards that are second to none.

Enzo's Hideaway
Steps away, the unexpected Enzo’s Hideaway offers a glimpse into another lounge – this one, a secret space that first served as a bootlegger’s hideout. A legendary speakeasy that was discovered by Enzo after he purchased the terminal, this network of tunnels was the center of the Springs’ social life during the “dry years” of prohibition.

Disney is using the cooler weather early in the new year to refurbish several of the Walt Disney World Resort hotel swimming pools.

Disney's Art of Animation Resort
  • The Big Blue pool will be closed January 16 through January 19, 2018. 
  • Flippin' Fins pool will be closed January 31 through February 2, 2018. 
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Samawati Springs pool at Kidani Village will be closed January 8 through January 19, 2018. 
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
  • Beach Pool closed for refurbishment November 20 through February 25, 2018. 
Fort Wilderness
  • The Meadows pool will be closed January 30 through February 2, 2018. 
Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort
  • The High Rock Spring pool will be closed January 15 through January 26 2018. 
  • The Paddock Pool will be closed January 29 through February 9 2018. 

The performer line-up for the 2018 Epcot International Festival of the Arts - Disney on Broadway Series has been announced.

Taking place on Fridays through Mondays at America Gardens Theatre, with showtimes at 5:30pm, 6:45pm and 8:00pm, Disney on Broadway Series is included with theme park admission. Dining packages with reserved seating are also available.

The performer line-up is:
  • January 12-15 and 19-22: New this year, Kara Lindsay will join returning performer Kevin Massey, performing songs from Tarzan, Aladdin, Newsies, and Frozen.
  • January 26-29 and February 2-5: Kissy Simmons and Alton Fitzgerald White, performing songs from Tarzan, The Lion King, Aida, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid.
  • February 9-12 and 16-19: Ashley Brown and Josh Strickland, performing songs from Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Mary Poppins, Newsies, and Frozen. 
Photo courtesy of

Disney has revealed details on the changes coming to Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort.
First, the updates will debut late summer 2018, and as we've seen from the aerial pictures, work is progress quickly on the Centertown area. Here is a full run-down of the enhancements and changes.
Photo courtesy of Disney.

Old Port Royale at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be reimagined as the port of entry where guests will check in before embarking on their island vacation. This centralized location will offer resort guests more convenient access to services, amenities and dining, including an all-new Centertown Market for casual eats, an all-new Shutters restaurant offering waterfront dining adjacent to the new Banana Cabana outdoor bar and lounge, and Calypso Trading Post for shopping.

Centertown Market will be expanded and enclosed, creating a quick-service restaurant with an indoor street market vibe. Guests will enter the space under a large palapa-like structure, accented with glowing colored light pendants made from glass bottles. The market will feature open shutters, wooden light posts, awnings, ornamentation and unique seating areas. Guests will also have access to the Grab n’ Go market for a specialty coffee and quick bites. 

Photo courtesy of Disney.

Shutters, a Caribbean-inspired table-service restaurant, will be located on the waterfront of Old Port Royale, transporting guests to a beachfront home in the tropical islands. Large open shutters will allow the sun to cast a warm light into the space adorned with handmade items that appear as they’ve been found on the islands. Leaves and floral design motifs will fill the space, celebrating the natural beauty of the Caribbean. 
Photo courtesy of Disney.

A festive poolside bar, Banana Cabana will be a great place to gather for food and drinks, immersing guests into the fun and relaxation of island life. Cabana-style drapes will flank seating areas and re-purposed steel drums will illuminate a central communal table made from a wooden boat.

With its history of being the port’s import and export facility, Calypso Trading Post will offer shoppers Disney merchandise and other vacation essentials.

Star Wars: Galactic Nights returns to Disney's Hollywood Studios on December 16, 2017, and we have a look at the provisional entertainment schedule, attractions and meet and greet line-up.

The party takes place from 7pm through to midnight, although guests will be able to enter with their ticket from 5pm.

Tickets are priced at $129 adults, $124 ages 3-9 (discounts available for Annual Passholders & DVC Members). Purchase Star Wars: Galactic Nights tickets here or call 407-W-DISNEY (407 934-7639).

Star Wars: Galactic Nights – Entertainment
  • Inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge - Epic Stunt Theater - 8:10pm, 9:10pm, 10:10pm, 11:10pm. Join host David Collins—a voice actor known for his work on Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—and an expert panel of team members from Walt Disney Imagineering and Lucasfilm, including: Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering; Robin Reardon, Executive Creative Producer at Walt Disney
    Photo courtesy of
    Imagineering; Chris Beatty, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering; Doug Chiang, VP/Creative Director at Lucasfilm. They’ll take you around the galaxy and inside the making of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the 14-acre expansion scheduled to open in 2019 at Disneyland Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios. During this fascinating sneak peek, find out what it’s like to bring the epic saga to life—from the big screen to the real world! You’ll learn about the design, development and progress of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge as the Imagineers reveal how they’re creating real-life versions of all the iconic things that make Star Wars so spectacular. 
  • Star Wars: Galactic Destinations - Projections on Sunset Blvd - 7pm to midnight. Watch as the Hollywood Tower Hotel is transformed with state-of-the-art projections, special effects and lighting to depict spectacular destinations from across the Star Wars galaxy. The stellar Star Wars cinematic score adds to this awe-inspiring experience.
  • Jedi Training (ages 4 to 12) - Star Tours area - 6:10pm, 6:40pm, 7:15pm, 7:45pm, 8:15pm, 8:45pm, 9:45pm, 10:15pm. 
  • DJ Dance Party - Centerstage - 7pm to midnight. 
  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away - Centerstage - 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:30pm, 10:20pm. 
  • Imperial March - Main entrance to Centerstage - 7:05pm, 8:05pm, 9:05pm, 9:55pm. 
  • Galactic Nights Epilogue - Centerstage - 11:40pm. 
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular fireworks - Centerstage - 11:45pm. 
Star Wars: Galactic Nights - Characters
  • Launch Bay - Darth Vader, Chewbacca, Kylo Ren, BB-8, Jawas and Rey. 
  • Animation Courtyard - AWR Troopers 
  • Star Tours - Storm Troopers 
  • Sunset Showcase Courtyard - Seventh Sister 
  • Commissary Lane - Mickey and Minnie 
  • Echo Lake - Olaf 
  • Pixar Place - Buzz and Woody 
  • Walt Disney Presents - Star Lord and Groot 
Star Wars: Galactic Nights - Attractions
  • Star Wars: Path of the Jedi 
  • Star Wars: Launch Bay 
  • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster: Star Wars edition 
  • Star Tours 
  • Muppet Vision 3D 
  • Toy Story Mania! 
  • Tower of Terror 
  • Walt Disney Presents 
Star Wars: Galactic Nights - Merchandise

Special event merchandise available at:
  • Mickey’s of Hollywood 
  • Celebrity 5 & 10
  • Once Upon a Time 
  • Stage 1 Company Store 
Star Wars merchandise available at:
  • Legends of Hollywood 
  • Launch Bay Cargo (including Skywalker Vineyard Wines) 
  • Tatooine Traders 
Star Wars: Galactic Nights - Photo Backdrops

Each location will feature a special Snapchat filter, exclusive to the event.
  • Ahch-to: Luke’s Hut – Near Centerstage 
  • Death Star: Emperor’s Throne Room – Near Hyperion Theater 
  • Batuu – Grand Avenue 
  • Jedha: U-wing and K-2SO – Grand Avenue 
  • Malachor: Sith Temple – Sunset Showcase Courtyard 
  • Hoth: Wampa Cave – Sunset Showcase Courtyard 
  • Jakku: Luggabeast – Inside Sunset Showcase 
  • Tatooine: Rancor – Inside Sunset Showcase 

Special Pricing on Memory Maker 

Take advantage of special event pricing on Memory Maker One Day, available for this event for just $39! With Memory Maker One Day, you’ll receive unlimited digital downloads of your Disney PhotoPass Photos from Star Wars: Galactic Nights—capturing your encounters with Characters, icons, attractions and more.

Memory Maker One Day special event price ($39) is only available at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind, Rock Around the Shop and Tower Hotel Gifts during the Star Wars: Galactic Nights event on December 16, 2017. Special event price is not available via the My Disney Experience app.

Premium Add-Ons

A Galactic Tasting Sampler is available for $30 and Jedi Recruitment package for $149.95.

The Galactic Tasting Sampler gives Guests a credential with 5 pull-off tabs to exchange for Star Wars-inspired treats including: Lightsaber churros, Root Leaf Stew, Character cupcakes—like Darth Vader chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, Charcuterie plates featuring C3PO crackers and specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Photo courtesy of

The Jedi Recruitment package includes a reserved spot in the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple, a Jedi robe, a lightsaber, name badge, a limited-edition Star Wars t-shirt and a photo with Jedi Master.

Both add-ons can be booked via 407-WDW-PLAY (407-939-7529)

Along the Sunset Boulevard area of the park you will find Senses Spa offering three different makeover packages that include Star Wars-inspired nails, makeup and hair transformations. Makeovers take 30-60 minutes (depending on the package) and range in price from $50-90 for children and $80-120 for adults.

Looking to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World? Contact the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your dream vacation. Email for a free quote today.


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