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by Military Diva

Happy Holidays everyone-may the Peace of the Season bring you joy as we move into the coming year. And if you are a Star Wars fan, I say congratulations.  This month has seen a few updates and the exciting opening of a much awaited attraction in Disney World.  Let’s take a look at all the exciting news we were gifted with this month.

 

Walt Disney World
Disney News & Updates, December 2019

Disney World Christmas Parade

  • The Disney World Resort welcomed the Holiday Season with several festivals, parties and entertainment events.
    • The Epcot International Festival of the Holidays ran all month and ended on Dec. 30.  Guests were treated to cultural storytelling, musical entertainment, and extra holiday additions such as Living with the Land: Merry and Bright Nights!, Epcot Scrolls, Holiday Markets and the Candlelight Processional.
    • Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party was a big hit, once again!
  • We finally received a date for the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Set your calendars for March 4, 2020 if you want to be among the first to experience this new attraction.
  • The Mickey Shorts Theater will also open in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in March 2020.  Whether you are a die-hard MIckey fan or just looking for a great place to take a break for a few minutes-this location is sure to be a hit!
  • Star Wars fans received a few treats this month:
    • Rise of the Resistance opened in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  Be sure to be aware of the Virtual Boarding Groups if planning your own visit.
    • Star Wars: Datapad, a Disney Play Parks Mobile App experience, received a new update. The immersive experience received two additional “jobs” to enhance your Star Wars experience.
    • Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a new vacation experience, will open in 2021.  Guests can enjoy a completely immersive vacation experience with a “two-night, cruise style” itinerary. Watch for additional details and sign up for updates at starwarsgalacticstarcruiser.com.
  • Disney’s Duck Tales World Showcase Adventure joined the Play Disney Parks Mobile App. Explore Epcot and discover secrets, surprises and more with this new virtual scavenger hunt!
  • New restaurants are coming to Epcot and Hollywood Studios! 
    • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts and Barbecue-Quick Service in American Adventure in Epcot
    • Space 220 Restaurant-Table Service location next to Mission:Space in Epcot
    • Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant-Table Service location in Toystory Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • New film experiences are also coming to Epcot on January 17, 2020.
    • The “Beauty & the Beast Sing-Along” will be available in the France Pavilion.
    • “Awesome Planet” will debut in the Land Pavilion.
    • “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” will open in the Canada Pavilion.
  • This month also offered a sneak peak at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in the France Pavilion.  This new attraction is set for a Summer 2020 opening.
  • Are you a fan of staying “off-site” for your Disney Vacation?  Disney Springs will welcome a new property, operated by the Drury Hotels, in Spring 2021. Guests can expect a resort style property with a pool, splash pad, poolside bar, transportation to the theme parks and surrounding areas, hot breakfast, evening reception and more! These rooms can be booked through Drury direct or as part of a Disney World Vacation Package (contact yor favorite Travel Agent for more details!)
  • “Drawn to Life”, a new Cirque du Soleil offering, will open in Spring 2020.  Previews will be available on March 20 with official opening set for April 17, 2020. Tickets can be purchased at DisneyWorld.com/Cirque or through your travel agent.
  • Disney’s Riviera Resort opened with great fanfare on December 16. This new, beautiful,European themed DVC resort opened adjacent to Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and offers DVC style rooms, exciting new restaurants and access to the Disney Skyliner Gondolas.
  • Beaches & Cream Soda Shop reopened on December 26 after an extensive renovation.  While most of us visit for the delicious malt shakes, burgers and beloved Kitchen Sink, many guests complained of the cramped space and limited reservation availability.  The new renovation offers greater space and more reservations!  And while the favorite menu items are still offered, new items have been added as well! Make your reservations via “myDisneyexperience”.
  • Dates and offerings for Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts have been announced.
    • The festival will run from January 17-February 24, 2020.
    • Exciting food favorites and additions…Food Studios Menus and Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine both offer extensive food offerings!
    • Entertainment includes the Disney on Broadway Concert Series with featured entertainers direct from Broadway! The concerts are included with park admission but fill quickly due to popularity.  Be sure to secure your spot with an Epcot dining package that includes Concert seating.
  • Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival follows directly behind the Festivel of the Arts!
    • Expect this festival to run from March 4-June 1, 2020.
    • The popular gardens and topiaries are expected to return with the addition of a brand new Remy topiary.
    • 16 Outdoor Kitchens, multiple kiosks and tours are available to feed every taste!
    • Be sure to check out the Garden Rocks Concert Series schedule. This year’s entertainers include Peabo Bryson, the Pointer Sisters, Daughtry and many more performers!  Again, while the concert is incuded with park admission, you can guarantee your seating by reserving a Garden Rocks Concert Series Dining package.
  • Who’s excited for the Tron coaster opening in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland?  While the attraction isn’t expected to be ready until the Park’s 50th Anniversary in 2021, guests can see and even try out the Tron Lightcycles now!
  • Disney Villians After Hours returns to Magic Kingdom. 
    • Guests purchasing the special park ticket will enjoy lower crowds during this exclusive evening event.
    • Special villian inspired stage shows, DJ dance parties and new photo ops throughout the park.
    • Villian enhancements hit Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain.
    • Special treats and merchandise available throughout the park.
    • Guests can experience the Maleficent dragon procession twice nightly during the Villian’s Cursed Caravan!
  • Exciting New Year’s offerings to help you ring in the New Year.
    • Disney’s Animal Kingdom
      • For the first time, the park will stay open until midnight! The party will start with music, decor and festivities on Discovery Island at 6:15. The festivities will continue through the park and will end with a special “Tree of Life-Awaken the New Year” spectacular.
      • Special Pin Trading in Disney’s Animal Kingdom on December 31, 2019 only. This fun, one day only event, will offer specialty displays throughout the park where guests will have one minute to trade two pins! New boards will be available in the different lands between 1:00-2:00 pm, 2:45-3:45 pm, 5:45-6:45 pm and 7:30-8:30 pm.
      • Specialty 2020 Commemorative New Year’s Day Pin will be available for purchase at 7:00 pm on December 31, 2019. If you would like a chance to purchase one of these limited pins (only 1000 were produced!) be sure to get to Disney’s Animal Kingdom early on Dec. 31.  Interested guests should visit the Discovery Trading Company, which will begin handing out wristbands at 7am.  You will then return to the same location between 7:00 and 9:00 pm that night for your chance to purchase your pin!
    • Epcot
      • DJ dance parties will start at 7:00 pm and will run throughout the park until 1:00 am.
      • “Epcot Forever” will be shown at 6:30 pm and once again at 11:40.  The latter showing will also include a New Year’s countdown and special fireworks addition!
    • Disney’s Hollywood Studios
      • Center Stage DJ Dance Party will begin at 7:00 pm with a “Wonderful World of Animation” showing at 6:05 pm.
      • “Jingle Bell! Jingle Bam!” will blast off at 6:30 pm while the “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular” Fireworks will shoot off just after midnight.
    • Magic Kingdom Park
      • DJ dance parties will keep the park rocking in both Tomorrowland and Frontierland throughout the evening.
      • Fantasy in the Sky Fireworks will light up the night at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park at 11:50 pm on December 31, 2019.  (An earlier showing will be available at 6:30)
      • Unable to make it to the parks?  Stream live with #DisneyParksLIVE.
Disneyland
Disney News & Updates, December 2019

Disneyland Castle

  • Frozen Fans Rejoice with new Frozen offerings in celebration of Frozen 2!
    • Disney’s California Adventure offerings include Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome at the Disney Animation Building, “Frozen Live at the Hyperion”- a live reproduction of the first Frozen movie, learn to draw Olaf at the Animation Academy with a new Olaf character interaction and new Frozen character inclusions during “World of Color-Season of LIght”.
    • Disneyland Park offerings include a Frozen Float during “A Christmas Fantasy” parade and new Frozen Offerings available at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
    • Treats, in-room celebrations, specialty souvenirs and much more can be found throughout the Disneyland Resorts and Downtown Disney shops.
  • New “Magic Happens” parade set to begin in Disneyland Park on February 28, 2020-featuring music co-produced by Todrick Hall!
  • Disneyland Resort Express is no longer being offered for Disneyland Guests.  All current reservations that will travel now until January 7, 2020 will not change.  Reservations already booked but traveling after January 7, 2020 will be transferred to Karmel Shuttle for no additional charge.
  • Spring Savings at the Disneyland Resort Hotels!  Save on bookings made from now until March 16, 2020 for stays between April 19 and June 18, 2020. Guests save up to 10% on Disney’s Paradise Pier Premium rooms; up to 20% on Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Standard Rooms; up to 25% on Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Grand Californian Premium Rooms.
  • Avengers Campus at Disney’s California Adventure opening in Summer 2020!  Guests will enjoy the new “Web Slinger vehicle”, PYM test kitchen, superhero encounters and more!
Disney Cruise Line
Disney News & Updates, December 2019

Disney Cruise Line Updates

  • New Limited Discount Offer!  Book a 4-night or longer cruise sailing between June 20, 2020 and May 31, 2021 and only pay 50% deposit at booking.  Remaining deposit and balance due with final payment.
Adventures by Disney
Disney News & Updates,December 2019

Disney themed and specialty River Cruises offered by Adventures by Disney

  • Looking for a last minute winter getaway?  Look no further than Adventures by Disney!  Experience a 5-night, 4-day adult-only, Wyomong Winter Wonderland experience departing on February 12, 2020.  Itinerary includes a Yellowstone National Park hike and snow shoe adventure around Old Faithful, a visit to a local hot spring, two sleigh rides that include the Teton Mountains and National Elk Refuge, a snow day spent in Jackson Hole relaxing, shopping or enjoying the local thrills!  Book now through Adventures by Disney or through your travel agent!

As we begin to close the year and head into the New Year, we at Tips from the Disney Divas count you all as part of our blessings.  We are honored to provide insights into your travels, value your dedication to our sight and welcome any comments you would like to share.  In addition, we are happy to recommend the service of our own sposored travel agent…All for Dreams Travel, a Gateway to Magic Travel Partner.  (Gateway to Magic Travel is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner).

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from all of us to all of you!

My name is Patricia, aka Military Diva, and I have a soft spot for Disney Destinations! After a two year post-9/11 deployment, our family was able to reconnect during a Disney World vacation. While counting on time together, we did not expect the touching service we received from Cast Members. We were treated like royalty! It is my mission as a writer for "Tips from the Disney Diva" and as owner of "All for Dreams Travel" to help other families experience their own special connections through travel.