Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ears the News: October 20, 2018 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com


Halloween 2018 night on October 31 for Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is now sold out.

Currently, tickets for all other remaining dates are available for purchase.

The operating hours of several attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom are being reduced through the remainder of the year.

Part of the relaunch of the park as a nighttime destination last year, the park is now typically open until 8pm. However, Kilimanjaro Safaris has moved to a 7:45pm closing for this week, and then moving down to a 6:30pm closing in November.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com


Maharajah Jungle trek is now operating with a delayed open at 10am, and closing early at 5pm.

Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is similarly now opening after park open at 9:30am, with an early closing at 4:30pm.

Kali River Rapids is also opening at 9:30am, with early closing at 7:30pm.

Walt Disney World launched its new date-based ticket pricing today for both single and multi-day tickets.

Compared to previous pricing, some tickets have decreased, increased or stayed the same, depending on the start date and length of the ticket. For example, a 6-Day Ticket starting November 22, 2018 will now cost $5 more per day than in 2017. A 1-Day Ticket for December 25, 2018 will cost the same as 2017. A 3-Day Ticket starting February 10, 2019 will cost $4 less per day than in 2018.

As before, tickets may be purchased on DisneyWorld.com, in the My Disney Experience app, over the phone, upon arrival at any of the four parks or through authorized travel professionals and ticket sellers. Current calendar pricing shows pricing through 2019.

At DisneyWorld.com, there is a new online calendar that guides you through the ticket buying process and helps with selecting days with optimal pricing.


Video from the Disney Parks Blog
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

For the first time, you will also now be able to modify tickets online up until the ticket start date. If the ticket is changed to a higher-priced date, you will need to pay the difference. There will unfortunately be no refunded for changes that move the ticket to a lower-priced date. Changes may also be made after the ticket start date by visiting guest relations.

If you would prefer not to worry about dates, you can opt for a Flexible Date Ticket, which allows you to first use the ticket any day on or before December 31, 2019 and they expire 14 days from first use.

If you have purchased tickets before October 16, 2018, the original terms and conditions will apply and will not be affected by the new date-based tickets.

Disney has said that the goal of the new date-based tickets and pricing is to better spread attendance throughout the year to improve the guest experience.

Along with the introduction of date-based tickets and pricing, Walt Disney World annual passes have been updated.
  • The Disney Platinum Plus Pass is now $994, up from $949. (Before any discounts for Florida Residents) 
  • The Disney Platinum Pass is now $894 up from $849. (Before any discounts for Florida Residents) 
  • The Gold Pass is now $609, up from $589. 
  • The Silver Pass is now $479, up from $439. 
You can see full pricing at the official Disney World annual pass page.

Walt Disney World has increased parking fees at its theme parks effective October 16 2018.
  • Preferred parking: car or motorcycle – Now $50 per day, up from $45 
  • Standard parking: car or motorcycle – Now $25 per day, up from $22 
  • Oversized Vehicle Parking: Shuttle, Limo, Camper Trailer, RV, Bus or Tractor Trailer - Now $30 per day, up from $27 
Registered Guests of Disney Resort Hotels, select Annual Passholders, Premium Passholders and Disney Premier Passport holders continue to receive complimentary standard self-parking at Disney theme parks.

The second of two World Drive overpasses near to the Magic Kingdom is now open to traffic.

Drivers coming from the North side of World Drive towards Fort Wilderness will now exit to the right onto Vista Blvd.

Drivers heading south on World Drive will now find it quicker with a direct overpass, emerging beyond the Car Care Center.

Toy Story Land will be part of the seasonal decor at Disney's Hollywood Studios this year, and Disney has shared a sneak peek of what we can expect.

Guests visiting Toy Story Land beginning November 8, can enjoy the land’s new holiday decor, including including oversized cranberry-and-popcorn garland, a holiday card “selfie” of “Toy Story” pals, an oversized Hamm sugar cookie, Green Alien ornaments and more. The land’s attractions will also be plussed up for the season with new holiday audio: guests will hear sleigh bells ringing on Slinky Dog Dash, while Alien Swirling Saucers will offer two holiday tracks, plus themed lighting.

Toy Story characters will also join the holiday look with new costume overlays.


Video from the Disney Parks Blog
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

Disney has announced a summer 2019 opening date for the new 15 story tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.

In summer 2019, Walt Disney World Resort will unveil a completely reimagined Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, featuring hundreds of new guestrooms and a plethora of new amenities. Walt Disney Imagineering is reinvigorating the resort with fresh storytelling and functional enhancements that will make a dramatic impact on the experience for guests.
Concept art courtesy of Disney


The biggest addition to the property will be a 15-story tower offering a two-level entrance lobby, 545 guest rooms (including 50 suites), a themed and unique rooftop table-service restaurant, two presidential suites and more.

A second new restaurant will be located on an island in the middle of the resort’s 14-acre lake, Lago Dorado. New walkways will stretch across the lake, allowing quick and convenient passage to and from all areas of the resort.

All 1,800-plus existing rooms at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort feature updated fixtures, furnishings and lighting. A fresh, sophisticated color palette will tie the entire resort together when the tower opens, with a total room count of more than 2,400.


Video from the Disney Parks Blog
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

Disney Junior Dance Party is set to debut on December 22 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

According to Disney, "the all-new “Disney Junior Dance Party!” live show will rock the park with high-energy songs, dazzling special effects, new friends and beloved characters including Mickey Mouse himself."

In the show, DJ Deejay and host Finn Fiesta invite everyone in for the party, creating an incredible interactive atmosphere for kids to sing, dance and play along with favorite Disney Junior stars like Doc McStuffins, Timon from “The Lion Guard,” and Vampirina from the hit Disney Junior series, “Vampirina.” And of course, Mickey Mouse races in from “Mickey and the Roadster Racers,” just in time for the big finale!

Filming for the 2018 ABC Holiday Specials will take place this year November 7 - 11. (Dates subject to change)

Following on from the previous year's new format, there will be multiple shows, set to air throughout the holiday season, in November and December. Airing dates are still to be announced.

Like last year, no parade will be filmed at Walt Disney World, but stage show performances including musical acts will be filmed in Florida. The parade will be filmed at Disneyland Resort in California.

Tickets will not be made available to guests, with Cast Members filling in the audience as extras. It may be possible to see parts of the filming from guest areas however.

The second phase of the all-new World of Disney store at Disney Springs is now open.

The second area to open is what was the former princess room and baby sections, accessible from the entrance in the Town Center. It now carries a whole host of merchandise from Christmas decor, plush to T-Shirts and Hats.

Although the store has reopened, it is not yet complete, and there is much more to come, including special effects and additional fixtures. These are expected to be in place for when the entire remodel is complete in late 2018, and are currently hidden behind scrims.

Disney has officially announced its new Disney Vacation Club property to be built on Bay Lake between Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Resort.

The deluxe resort, which will be themed to complement its natural surroundings, will include more than 900 hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas spread across a variety of unique accommodation types.
Concept art courtesy of Disney


“Walt Disney World is in the midst of our most significant expansion in the last two decades and the combined 1,700 new hotel rooms and proposed Disney Vacation Club villas we are building at four different resorts will create thousands of new construction and permanent jobs and will drive economic opportunity and incremental revenue for Central Florida,” said George A. Kalogridis, president of Walt Disney World Resort. “We continue to add new attractions, new lands — and these beautiful accommodations will be right in the heart of all that magic.”

The soon-to-be named resort is slated to be Disney’s 16th Disney Vacation Club property.

“This resort experience will be a celebration of Walt Disney’s lifelong love and respect for nature, with some fun and even surprising accommodation types that families will find irresistible,” said Terri Schultz, senior vice president and general manager of Disney Vacation Club. “It will give our members and guests yet another opportunity to stay in close proximity to all the newest attractions and experiences in our theme parks, and with the flexibility, value and world-class service families expect from Disney.”

Disney has released a new 'Countdown to Disney Skyliner' video.


Video from the Disney Parks Blog
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is celebrating the birth of a rare okapi, with numbers of only 20,000 in the world.

The calf was born on October 1 to mom Zelda and dad Mandazi - both chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan, overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Weighing in at 54 pounds, animal care experts report that the calf was up and mobile within the first hour of his birth. He has been nursing and bonding with his mom. The pair will remain in a backstage habitat for the next few months before joining the animals on the savanna.

The calf’s parents – mom Zelda and dad Mandazi – were chosen to breed through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and ensures responsible breeding of threatened and endangered species.


Video from the Disney Parks Blog
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.


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 vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com for a free quote today.

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