News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th

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There are new things popping up every day at the Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and Universal Orlando Resort.  Join us every week to read about “What’s New” in Disney News and at Universal Orlando!  Up this week is runDisney, new refillable mugs at the resorts and upcoming performances at Universal’s Mardi Gras!

What’s New This Week

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Walt Disney World Resort in Florida

New!  Princess Half Marathon Weekend Feb 20-23: runDisney will host the 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend presented by Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at Epcot, Magic Kingdom Park and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex Thursday, Feb 20 through Sunday, Feb 23rd.  This event includes:

  • Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo (Thurs-Sat)
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend Breakfast (Friday, Feb 21)
  • Cinderella Royal Family 5K (Friday, Feb 21)
  • runDisney Kids Races (Friday and Saturday)
  • NEW* Disney Princess Enchanted 10K (Saturday, Feb 22)
  • NEW* Disney Glass Slipper Challenge (Saturday, Feb 22-Sunday Feb 23)
  • Disney Princess Half Marathon (Sunday, Feb 23)
  • Happily Ever After Party (Sunday, Feb 23)

Please note that many roads will be closed around Walt Disney World to accommodate the races.  Allow extra travel time all weekend.

New!  Epcot – 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Extended in 2014: The 19th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival kicks off earlier than ever this year, beginning September 19.  Guests are invited to enjoy an extra week of festivities, food and paired beverages from around the world September 19-November 10.

 New!  Raytheon ‘Science Thrills Live’ show at Innoventions West Feb 17-21: Raytheon will celebrate National Engineers Week with “Science Thrills Live”, a show with scientists demonstrating spectacular concepts, encouraging Guests to design and experience their own thrill ride at The Sum of All Thrills presented by Raytheon.  Raytheon employees share their passion of engineering with all by being on hand to lead Guests in hands-on experiments.  The 20 minute “Science Thrills Live” shows will occur daily Feb 17-21 at 11am, 1, 2, 3 and 4pm in Innoventions West at Epcot.

New!  Rapid Fill Mug New Designs Now at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels:  Last week, we announced the new mug design was coming and this week, we have already seen them out at a few resorts.  The new mugs feature a brand-new design, new colors (blue, red, yellow and purple) and a sticker on top of the mug that advises Guests to activate mug at cashier.

New!  Downtown Disney Marketplace Boat Dock Closing: Beginning Feb 22, the Downtown Disney Marketplace boat dock will be closed temporarily.  The Sassagoula River Cruise docking location will relocate to the Pleasure Island boat dock during this time.  In addition, internal boat transportation (water taxi) service for Downtown Disney Guests will only be available between the Downtown Disney Pleasure Island and West Side docks.  The Downtown Disney Marketplace dock is expected to reopen this fall.

Reminder!  Epcot’s Ziti Sisters Final Performance: Effective Sunday, February 23, the Ziti Sisters atmosphere entertainment group that performs in World Showcase/Italy will be closing.  The last performance will be Saturday, Feb 22.  Epcot will continue to have a rich mix of atmosphere entertainment throughout the World Showcase pavilions.

Reminder!  2014 Pro Soccer Classic from Feb 19 to March 1: The MLS and Orlando City Soccer Club return to the Walt Disney World REsort for the 2014 Pro Soccer Classic from Feb 19th through March 1st.  This action-packed event gives fan an up close and personal look at their favorite hometown club as they square off against their future MLS rivals at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, home to Orlando City Soccer in 2014.  Single and multiple session passes are on sale and parking is free!

New!  Merchandise Events:

  • February 14-21: Are you a fan of David E. Doss?  Mark your calendars, David will be appearing daily at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.  Stop in and find a new piece of art to ad to your collection.
  • February 21-23: Precious Moments dolls at Once Upon a Toy (Linda Rick tentative appearance)
  • February 22: Make sure to mark your calendar for a special Steampunk artist signing at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace as we celebrate the release of artwork and collectibles inspired by turn of the century inventors and writers, as well as artwork inspired by Disney attractions, icons and innovations that have been cultivated from this view of the future from the past.  Disney Design Group artists Costa Alavezos, Alex Maher and Mike Sullivan will be on hand from 2-5 pm to sign their masterpieces.
  • February 26-March 2: Artist Greg McCullough will be on hand for a special artist showcase at Art of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace.

Closures and Refurbishments

Magic Kingdom

  • Casey’s Corner Jan 6 – Feb 19, 2014
  • Splash Mountain Jan 6 – Mar 21, 2014
  • Splashdown Photos Jan 6 – Mar 21, 2014
  • Agrabah Bazaar Jan 7 – Feb 13, 2014
  • Liberty Square Riverboat Jan 21 – Mar 21, 2014
  • Monorail – MK Express Jan 21 – Mar 21, 2014
  • Pinocchio’s Village Haus Feb 17 – Mar 30, 2014
  • The Plaza Restaurant Feb 17 – Mar 15, 2014
  • Tip Board Cart – Closing Permanently Feb 26, 2014
  • Big Thunder Mountain Apr 7 -9, 2014
  • Pirates of the Caribbean April 28 – May 1, 2014

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • Backlot Tour Jan 5 – Mar 1, 2014

Epcot

  • None

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Festival of the Lion King Jan 6, 2014-summer
  • Camp Minnie-Mickey Jan 6, 2014 – permanent closure

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Closed for Annual Refurbishment Dec 22, 2013-Mar 17, 2014

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort

  • Sports – Resort Lobby Construction Feb 17 – Mar 9, 2014
  • Game Point Arcade – Closed due to Lobby/Corridor work Feb 17-Mar 9, 2014

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas

  • Lobby Decorative Shield Rehab – Construction between 9am and 5pm, Mar 10-14, 2014
  • Kiddie Pool Wet Deck – Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open Jan 21 – Feb 14, 2014

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village

  • Uwanja Camp – Kiddie Pool Wet Deck – Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open Jan 21 – Feb 28, 2014

Disney’s Boardwalk Villas

  • Villas Quiet Pool & Spa Feb 10-Mar 14, 2014

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Bay Lake Tower Kiddie Pool Wet Deck – Only wet deck is closed, pool will remain open Feb 10-28, 2014
  • Monorail – Magic Kingdom Resort – Restricted Service – Monorail service will be temporarily suspended on weekdays between 11:30am and 7:00pm.  Buses and watercraft transportation will be available Jan 21 – Mar 21, 2014.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Guest rooms and buildings throughout Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be refurbished starting in early January and scheduled to complete in August.  Guest buildings will be taken out of inventory and will not be occupied by Guests while work is being performed.
  • Monorail – Magic Kingdom Resort – Restricted Service – Monorail will be temporarily suspended on weekdays between 11:30am and 7pm.  Buses and watercraft transportation will be available Jan 21 – Mar 21, 2014.

Disney’s Old Key West

  • Gurging Suitcase Feb 5 – 28, 2014

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

  • General Construction Dec 2013 – Mar 2015
  • The Never Land Club Jan 28 – Apr 27, 2014
  • Great Ceremonial House Lobby March-December 2014
  • Beach & Sunset Point Access to the east portion of the beach, near the Transportation and Ticket Center, and Sunset Point will be unavailable due to a scheduled refurbishment.
  • Some rooms in certain room categories in impacted buildings have been taken off the market during the renovation period.
  • Monorail – Magic Kingdom Resort – Restricted Service – Monorail service will be temporarily suspended on weekdays between 11:30am and 7:00pm.  Buses and watercraft transportation will be available Jan 21 – Mar 21, 2014.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter

  • Doubloon Lagoon Pool – transportation will be provided for Guests to swim at Ol’ Man Island Pool at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort Jan 13 – Feb 28, 2014

Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside

  • Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside will be undergoing roof construction on building 90 starting Jan 13.  The construction is estimated to continue through the end of February.

Downtown Disney Area

  • Cap’n Jack’s Marina – Closed
  • Parking Lots H, I, J, K – Closed
  • Fuego – closed
  • Wetzels Pretzels – closed 10/20/13
  • Team Mickey Athletic Club Jan 27 – Jun 13, 2014
  • Bridge between the West Side and Pleasure Island is temporarily closed through this fall as work on The Landing continues.  Additional temporary closures include the “top of the hill” on Pleasure Island and the nearby restrooms.
  • Walls are up in Keith’s Park (between LEGO and T-REX) to divert Guest traffic around the site of the upcoming Marketplace Causeway project.  When complete later this year, this land bridge will span between Rainforest Cafe and LEGO Imagination Center and will provide Guests with multiple ways to explore the Marketplace and will offer picturesque views of Village Lake.
  • Beginning Feb 22, the Downtown Disney Marketplace boat dock will temporarily close.  During this time, the Sassagoula River Cruise docking location will relocate to the Pleasure Island boat dock.  In addition, internal boat transportation (Water Taxi) service for Downtown Disney Guests will only be available between the Downtown Disney Pleasure Island and West Side docks.  The Downtown Disney Marketplace dock is expected to reopen this fall.

Disney Golf Courses/Miniature Golf

  • Winter course at Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf will be closed due to refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort in California

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Reminder: Disneyland Resort Offers Two or Three Days of Fun at Special Prices for Southern California Residents: Southern California residents can “show their Disney side” in 2014 as the Disneyland Resort once again presents a ticket offer especially for them, with options for two or three days of fun and adventure at the parks 0 all at special prices.  Southern California residents may purchase a 2-day ticket with their choice of one park per day for just $129, a 2-day Park Hopper ticket for just $164, a 3-day ticket with their choice of one park per day for just $159, or a 3-day Park Hopper for just $194.  (Jan 6 to June 6, 2014.  Blockout dates March 31-April 20, 2014)

Reminder!  New Club 33 Platinum, Executive and Affiliate Membership Cards: Beginning Feb 17, Club 33 cards are RFID-enabled and utilize the branding of Disney Premier Passport.  The cards resemble the Disney Premier Passport and have the Club 33 logo on the front.  After February 10, 2014, previous Platinum, Executive and Affiliate Membership Cards (black with silver Club 33 logo) are no longer valid for park entry at the Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort.

New!  Merchandise Events

  • February 22: Join us as we celebrate the launch of the newest exhibit to line the walls of The Disney Gallery in Disneyland park inspired by Steampunk.  Make sure to mark your calendar for a special artist signings at Dinseyana as we celebrate the release of artwork and collectibles inspired by turn of the century inventors and writers, as well as artwork inspired by Disney attractions, icons and innovations that have been cultivated from this view of the future from the past.
  • February 22-23: Stop in and check out the latest releases from artist M. Andonia from 1 – 4pm each day at WonderGround Gallery in Downtown Disney District.
  • Scheduled to appear as the Artist in Residence at WonderGround Gallery in the Downtown Disney District throughout February is artist Liana Hee.  Look for special showcases on the following dates: February 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22 from 5-9pm.

Closures and Refurbishments

Click here to download the latest renovations and closures at Disneyland.

Universal Orlando Resort

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Reminder: Robin Thicke Set to Perform This Saturday at Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras Celebration: The excitement of Mardi Gras continues this Saturday, Feb 22, with an electrifying performance by R&B sensation Robin Thicke.  4:00pm – French Quarter Courtyard Opens, 7:15pm – Mardi Gras Parade Starts, 8:00pm – Concert Begins

Reminder: Guests Can Enjoy the Spirit of the Big Easy at Universal Studios Florida on Saturday and Select Nights though May 31: Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is underway and continues though May 31.  Along with the live concert, guests can experience the spirit of the legendary Bayou bash during the dazzling Mardi Gras parade, featuring 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.”  Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy delectable Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.  The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida.

Austin Mahone to Play Hard Rock Live at Universal Orlando: Wed Feb 26, 7:00pm: This show was previously scheduled for Oct 18.  Tickets to the previous show will be honored.  Doors open at 6:00pm.  Tickets are $29.50.  Telephone: 407-351-LIVE (5483).

Velvet Sessions at Hard Rock Hotel with Edwin McCain Feb 27, 2014: Admission is $29 on-line or $35 at the door and includes FREE speciality drinks and finger foods, as well as warm-up tunes from 6:30-8:30pm, plus FREE valet parking.  Cash bars and live band from 8:00pm onward.  Velvet Bar hosts the city’s only rock ‘n’ roll cocktail party on the last Thursday of the month.  Each “session” combines creative cocktails with live music from some of the hottest rock bands.

Complimentary Wi-Fi at onsite Universal Orlando Resort Hotels: As of January 22, 2014 onsite guests will receive complimentary Wi-Fi in their rooms at all four resort hotels at Universal Orlando.  There will be two levels of service.  The Premium Wireless will be complimentary for up to four devices in the room which will be optimal for surfing the web and checking email.  There will be an option to upgrade to Premium Plus for $14.95 per day up to 8 devices – 3 meg.  This will be optimal for streaming music, entertainment, VPN and Large file transfers.  Complimentary Premium Wi-Fi in the common areas will continue as normal.

Closures and Refurbishments

Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • Jurassic Park River Adventure®: 2/18 – 2/27

Universal Studios

  • Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular: 2/22, 2/26 & 3/1: No shows scheduled

News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 1

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News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 2 News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 3 News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 4 News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 5 News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 6 News & Events from around Walt Disney World & Disneyland for the week of Feb 24th 7
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