Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News
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Disney is adding a new perk for its resort hotel guests this fall, "Extra, Extra Magic Hours."
The additional early morning hours will begin alongside the opening of Star Wars Galaxy's Edge on August 29 2019 and will give resort hotel guests daily early morning access to the parks. Also announced today was that Disney's Hollywood Studios will open at 6am for all guests on August 29 - 31 2019.
Extra, Extra Magic Hours Schedule Fall 2019
Disney’s Hollywood Studios – Daily from September 1 to November 2 2019, from 6-9am, including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (subject to capacity). Attractions available are planned to include Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers, Toy Story Mania, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, and Star Wars: Launch Bay.
(Please note that on August 29 to 31, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will open at 6 a.m. for all Guests. There will not be extra, Extra Magic Hours on those days.)
Magic Kingdom – Daily from August 29 to November 2 2019, from 7-8am. Attractions planned to be available include Astro Orbiter, The Barnstormer, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, "it's a small world," Mad Tea Party, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey's PhilharMagic, Peter Pan's Flight, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom – Daily from August 29 to November 2 2019, from 7-8am. Attractions planned to be available include Avatar Flight of Passage, DINOSAUR, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, It's Tough to be a Bug!, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Na'vi River Journey, Primeval Whirl, TriceraTop Spin.
At Epcot, the regular Extra Magic Hours will be available on select days.
FastPass+ will not be available during Extra, Extra Magic Hours.
Disney Resort hotel guests and new and renewing Annual Passholders will soon have the option to upgrade from the regular free-of-charge solid MagicBand to a special design MagicBand at a reduced price.
More than 30 new MagicBand options will be available for pre-arrival purchase at a special price of $14.99 off retail cost through the My Disney Experience website. Most of the bands will cost around $10 after the discount.
The regular solid bands will still be available at no cost, and these new design options can also be shipped to homes (U.S. addresses only) if ordered 11 or more days ahead of arrival and can be personalized if done so at least 6 or more days ahead of arrival
Video from Disney Parks.
The 2019 Garden Rocks Concert Series, part of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, is into the final month and a change has just been made to the performer line-up.
Peabo Bryson, who was scheduled for May 12 - 13 has been replaced with The Lovin’ Spoonful “Summer in the City.”
Scott Trowbridge, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering put out a great article giving an overview of Savi's Workshop in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The workshop will be the main location on Batuu to customize and build a lightsaber.
The article goes into some depth about the “The Gatherers” who operate the hidden lightsaber workshop as well as what kind of light sabers can be built.
The full article can be read here.
No pricing information has been released as of yet, but considering that the lightsabers will be made of die-cast metal, expect it to be on the high side.
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is in its 24th year and expands to 87 days with a summer opening for 2019.
Dates for this year's festival are August 29 to November 23, and here is a quick run-down of everything announced so far:
- 30 Global Marketplaces will return throughout the park, with new dishes including a Kenyan Coffee Barbecue Beef Tenderloin with sweet potato and corn mealie pap with Kachumbari slaw at Africa. At Earth Eats marketplace a new plant-based Cottage Pie with carrots, mushrooms and peas topped with mashed cauliflower and white beans.
- Eat to the Beat concert series return, with performances 3 times nightly for a total of 249 shows. New acts include Lauren Daigle (contemporary Christian), Kris Allen (pop, alt-rock), Sawyer Brown (country) and Boyce Avenue (rock, pop). Returning festival favorites spanning a broad range of eras and genres include Plain White T’s, Sugar Ray, Hanson, Sheila E. and Boyz II Men. See the full 2019 Eat to the Beat concert series performer line-up.
- The Disney du Jour Dance Party in Future World will expand to seven days a week. Sundays through Thursdays, a DJ will lead the interactive fun. Fridays and Saturdays, Radio Disney stars will make live performances. Actress-singer Meg Donnelly, from the Disney Channel original movie “Zombies,” will appear opening weekend, and more weekend celebrity headliners will join the lineup throughout the festival.
- The Sunday Brunch with the Chef series in World Showplace Events Pavilion will kick off September 1 with celebrity Chef Jamie Deen and continue on select Sundays through November 17. The chef lineup includes Cat Cora, Carla Hall, Fabio Viviani, Andrew Zimmern, Buddy Valastro, Richard Blais, Robert Irvine, David Burtka, Graham Elliot and Aarti Sequeira.
- Party for the Senses at World Showplace Events Pavilion will take place September 21, October 5, 12 and 19 (All Disney Chef Night!) and November 9.
- “Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It!” hands-on workshops on select Mondays and Thursdays through November 14 will offer new opportunities for guests to work side-by-side with visiting chefs, bakers, mixologists and other pros.
- Popular TV chefs will be at festival seminars and other events, including Bryan Voltaggio, Kenny Gilbert, Maneet Chauhan, Jet Tila, Shaun O’Neale, Keegan Gerhard, Dan Pashman and Rock Harper.
- Book & Bottle Signings by some of the world’s top vintners and chefs will return on select dates this year, in addition to the popular The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli, offering guests samples.
- Culinary Demonstrations (available through November 16) and Beverage Seminars (available through November 17) will offer learning and tasting sessions select days throughout the festival.
Nine new acts have been announced for the 2019 Eat to the Beat concert series at this year's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
Some of the first time appearances at Eat to the Beat are Sawyer Brown (“Thank God for You”); Lauren Daigle (“You Say”); Boyce Avenue (“Anchor”); and Kris Allen (“Live Like We’re Dying”).
Sugar Ray, Hanson, Sheila E. and Boyz II Men are among the returning acts.
Here is the provisional Eat to the Beat performer schedule for 2019:
• Plain White T’s - August 29 through 31
• Sawyer Brown – NEW! - September 1 through 2
• MercyMe - September 3 through 4
• Grace Kelly – NEW! - September 5 through 6
• Zach Williams – NEW! - September 7 through 8
• Lauren Daigle – NEW! - September 9 through 10
• Jimmie Allen – NEW! - September 11 through 12
• TBD - September 13 through 15
• The Allman Betts Band - September 16 through 17
• Everclear - September 18 through 19
• STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas - September 20 through 22
• Post Modern Jukebox - September 23 through 24
• Blue October - September 25 through 26
• Mark Wills - September 27 through 29
• Sugar Ray - September 30 through October 2
• TBD - October 3 through 9
• Boyce Avenue – NEW! - October 10 through 11
• Southern Avenue – NEW! - October 12 through 13
• TBD - October 14 through 15
• 38 Special - October 16 through 17
• Baha Men - October 18 through 20
• Billy Ocean - October 21 through 22
• Sheila E - October 23 through 25
• High Valley - October 26 through 27
• Hanson - October 28 through 30
• Sheena Easton - October 31 through November 1
• Kris Allen – NEW! - November 2 through 3
• Boyz II Men - November 4 through 6
• The Hooters - November 7 through 8
• Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy - November 9 through 11
• TBD - November 12 through 18
• D’Capella – NEW! - November 19
Eat to the Beat concerts are performed three times per night and entry is included with your Epcot admission. Dining packages are also available which give you reserved seating.
Showtimes – Sundays to Thursdays: 5:30 PM, 6:45 PM and 8:00 PM
Showtimes – Fridays and Saturdays: 6:30 PM, 7:45 PM and 9:00 PM
Tickets to NBA Experience are now on sale, which is planned to open at Disney Springs on August 12 2019.
Like Disney Quest before it, NBA Experience will be a ticketed venue, priced at $34 (plus tax) for adults (ages 10 and older), and $29 (plus tax) for children (ages 3-9).
Tickets are available wherever Walt Disney World tickets are sold, including Disneyworld.com/NBAExperience and any Walt Disney World ticket window.
Disney has announced that Epcot's space-themed restaurant will open to guests in 2019.
The restaurant is currently under construction between Mission: SPACE and Test Track. Operated by Patina Restaurant Group, the un-named restaurant will offer internationally-inspired cuisine courtesy of Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger. More than 1000 bottles of wine and craft beer will be available. Schoenegger has recently been the Executive Chef of new Italian concepts Maria & Enzo's Ristorante and Enzo's Hideaway Tunnel Bar at Disney Springs.
Booking reservations for three unique Magic Kingdom experiences has just got a lot easier thanks to an update to the Walt Disney World reservation system.
You can now visit disneyworld.com, head to the specific page for the experience you want to book, and make reservations for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirates League and the Harmony Barber Shop. Just like with dining, reservations are available 180 days in advance.