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Ears the News: March 15, 2019 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com


The new "Captain Hook's Pirate Crew" at Disney's Beach Club Resort is the latest immersive experience for kids at Walt Disney World Resort.

Taking place from 5pm to 8:30pm, Captain Hook will be lookin’ for a new band of adventurers to learn the pirate code and follow clues leading to hidden treasure. As part of Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew, these young buccaneers will comb through the resort and set sail on a pontoon boat around Crescent Lake including an escape room type experience. Once the treasure is unearthed, all join in a Pirate Feast that includes selections such as Cannon Meatballs with marinara or macaroni and “gold” sauce for entrees, along with a treasure chest treat or fruit for dessert.

Captain Hook’s Pirate Crew is priced at $55 (plus tax) per child and is available for ages 4 to 12; the adventures begin April 28, 2019. For more information or to book a reservation, call 407-824-KIDS.

The Pixar Play Zone experience at Disney's Contemporary Resort ends on March 30, 2019.

Month-long Sakura Festival begins tonight at Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

Beginning on March 8th, Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs will be hosting their second annual Sakura Festival for guests to experience a month-long celebration steeped in Japanese tradition and dedicated to the beauty of the cherry blossom.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com


From March 8th to the 31st 2019, the restaurant will be decorated with vibrant décor, showcasing the pink blooms of the Sakura. Similar to the festivals in Japan, guests can attend a series of ticketed events and enjoy menu specials inspired by the cherry blossom.

Crooked Can Happy Hour
The first event is the Crooked Can Happy Hour, Friday, March 8 from 5-7 p.m.

Kick off the festival with Crooked Can Brewing Company’s brewmasters to taste the Sakura Kolsch, available only at Morimoto Asia paired with a gourmet selection of Pan-Asian light bites upstairs in the Forbidden Lounge. Crooked Can offerings will be available for $5. No tickets necessary.

Rosé All Day
Then on Sunday March 10, 11:30am to 3:30pm the afternoon tasting event will highlight the famed pink drink with multiple stations of Rosé including 11 wineries, two sakes, and a thoughtful selection of food pairings meant to enhance the flavors of each wine. Each guest will also receive a complimentary souvenir stemless tasting glass before departure.

Tickets are $55 each and can be purchased online.

Pairings include:
  • Erath Pinot Noir Rosé – Paired with scallops bathed in a butter black bean sauce
  • M Chapoutier Bellarouche Rosé – Paired with Peking duck
  • Domaine De Cala Rosé – Paired with octopus light yuzu koshu
  • Smoke Tree Rosé – Paired with a beef yakiniku lettuce wrap with quick kimchi mayo
  • Vinho Verde Rosé - Paired with chicken yakitori
  • Banfi Rosé – Paired with raw bar menu items
  • Hana Hou Hou Rosé Sake - Paired with pork belly 
  • Shayna – Fleurs Da Prairie – French Rosé - Paired with miso glazed salmon belly
  • Strawberry Nigori Sake - Paired with banana lumpia dessert
  • Dewatsuru Rosé Sake - Paired with tonkatsu-style pork
  • Meriden Rosé – Paired with assorted Dim Sum
Select hotels at Walt Disney World are now offering Mermaid School, where guests are fitted with a mermaid tail and taught how to swim with it.

Guests ages 4 and older can take part in an hour-long class where they’ll be fitted with a swimmable “tail” and led through activities teaching them how to swim in a pool like a mermaid.

The Mermaid School will be offered at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts. Classes are $50/person (plus tax). Bookings (select dates per resort) will open mid-March through 407-WDW-PLAY.

The experience is being operated by local Orlando company, The Mermaid Academy, who provide the instructors and the loan of the tail.

Video from the Mermaid Academy.
Having trouble viewing the video? Click here to watch on YouTube.

Direct bus service to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach will be returning.

Beginning March 17, 2019, busses heading to the water parks will display "Typhoon Lagoon" or "Blizzard Beach." Currently, if you want to get to Typhoon Lagoon, you have to board a bus to Disney Springs and then transfer to a Typhoon Lagoon bus.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com


Although the service will be direct to the water park, some routes may stop at other resorts prior to the water park.
  • All-Star Sports, All-Star Music, All-Star Movies 
  • Contemporary, Polynesian, Grand Floridian 
  • Pop Century, Art of Animation 
  • Swan, Dolphin, Yacht Club, Beach Club, BoardWalk 
  • Jambo House, Kidani Village 
  • Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge 
At some resorts, boarding for the water parks will be at specific bus stops.
  • Caribbean Beach - Old Port Royale 
  • Coronado Springs - El Centro/Stop #1 
  • Old Key West - Hospitality House 
  • Port Orleans - South bus depot 
  • Saratoga Springs - The Springs bus stop 
If you need to get to a water park from one of the main parks, you will need to go to a resort hotel and then board the water park bus.

Walt Disney World theme park ticket price increases are now in effect. The main impact will be to date-based tickets and water parks.

Date-based Theme Park Tickets, Multi-day theme park tickets, Water Park Annual Passes have all seen price changes. For example, a 1 day base ticket between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve (one of the busiest weeks of the year), is now $159. A 4 day base theme park ticket in the summer (with a starting date of July 4), has seen an increase of $9 per day.

Walt Disney World introduced a more flexible ticket model last October, where prices vary by the date a guest chooses to visit. This date-based ticket and pricing model helps to spread attendance throughout the year. Ticket prices are higher during peak periods (i.e. Christmas, summer, spring break), while off-peak periods with less demand are priced lower.

A single day ticket, in the lowest priced date range, remains unchanged at $109.

The water park Annual Pass has increased by $9 from $130 to $139.

Annual Passes for the main parks have not changed pricing.

Standard parking remains unchanged, but preferred parking now has two tiers. In regular season, preferred parking is $45, and peak tier preferred parking is $50 per day. Preferred parking was previously a flat rate of $50.

Disney has released a new backstage look at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy with actor John Ratzenberger, the voice of Mack in the Cars movies.

When you enter the theater, Mack and Sally Carrera welcome all the rookie racers and test your knowledge of Lightning McQueen as you take your seat and get ready for the show. The show opens March 31, 2019 at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Ratzenberger is a legend of Pixar movies, having contributed his voice talents to every Pixar Animation Studios feature film.

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

A 2-month-old male Masai giraffe named Jabari has officially joined the giraffe herd at Kilimanjaro Safaris.

According to Disney - Jabari, which means “brave one” in Swahili, is a bold, curious and courageous calf and his name celebrates his spirit. The name was chosen by drivers at Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Standing seven feet tall, Jabari has spent the past two months bonding with his mom, Mara, in a backstage habitat. True to his name, Jabari has quickly reached all his key developmental milestones, so on March 12 2019, he was reintroduced to the savanna and his tower – otherwise known as a group of giraffe. Jabari has several special distinctions; he is the first giraffe calf to be born on the savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and he has a special heart-shaped spot on his neck.

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

Jaleo at Disney Springs will open on March 17, 2019 in the West Side at Disney Springs.

The restaurant, created by José Andrés, will feature an extensive menu of tapas reflecting the rich regional diversity of traditional and contemporary Spanish cuisine, as well as sangrias and a premier selection of Spanish wines. Highlights include a variety of authentic paellas cooked over a wood-fired paella pit, Spanish specialties like hand-carved Jamon Iberico de Bellota and wood-grilled Iberico pork, and signature dishes like Gambas al ajillo, shrimp sautéed with garlic and chili, and Pollo Croquetas, classic Spanish chicken fritters.
Photo courtesy of WDWMagic.com


On the restaurant’s front corner adjacent to the Jaleo entrance will be Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick and mortar location of the chef’s wildly popular Spanish food truck, which has been a D.C. fixture for more than six years. Pepe by José Andrés will offer a diverse menu of Spanish sandwiches, or bocatas, both hot and cold, as well as gazpacho and salads to go. The quick-service location will also sell delicious Spanish sangria, complete with sangria ice cubes to prevent any dilution of the drink in the Florida climate.

On the restaurant’s front corner adjacent to the Jaleo entrance will be Pepe by José Andrés, the first brick and mortar location of the chef’s wildly popular Spanish food truck, which has been a D.C. fixture for more than six years. Pepe by José Andrés will offer a diverse menu of Spanish sandwiches, or bocatas, both hot and cold, as well as gazpacho and salads to go. The quick-service location will also sell Spanish sangria, complete with sangria ice cubes to prevent any dilution of the drink in the Florida climate.

Jaleo at Disney Springs will be open for dinner starting March 17, 2019 with lunch service beginning later in the month. Pepe will be open for lunch and dinner beginning March 17, no reservations needed.


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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