Grand Avenue – The Third New Land Coming to Hollywood Studios this Autumn!

Hey Thrill Seekers!

There is so much going on in regards to new Disney attractions and lands that I can’t keep up! Today i’m focused on Hollywood Studios. Two of the main additions heading to Hollywood Studios are going to be Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land but today Disney have announced some information on another part of the park which is going to be transformed.

Muppets Courtyard and part of the former Streets of America, is being re-imagined by the Walt Disney Imagineers to become a new area called Grand Avenue.

Grand Avenue will be inspired by the unique culture of downtown Los Angeles,  where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted to exciting new uses. Guests will get to see “merchants” appear in the area, such as music shops, loft apartments, a tailor and more. Disney say that each window on the street will feature ‘charming displays’. It seems as though these will be fake storefronts that guests won’t be able to enter but will add loads of atmosphere and ‘feels’ to the area.

The current Muppets Courtyard is set to become Grand Park ‘an urban square off Grand Avenue surrounded by shops and restaurants like PizzeRizzo and Mana Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.’  If you are visiting Hollywood Studios in the near future you will already be able to see some changes such as the Muppets Theatre being renamed to the ‘Grand Arts Theatre.’  Don’t worry though – All the favourites such as Kermit and Miss Piggy continue to be stars in the Muppet*Vision 3D show!

More Details On Grand Avenue, Coming Soon To Disney’s Hollywood Studios More Details On Grand Avenue, Coming Soon To Disney’s Hollywood Studios

“California craft ales, lagers and cider are the stars of the drink menu. California wines on tap along with specialty cocktails are not to be missed either. A gourmet non-alcoholic lemonade and soda on tap round out the drink selection. If you’re feeling peckish, try one of the small bites, including a Bavarian pretzel with mustard and beer-cheese fondue, spiced almonds or a charcuterie board featuring California cheeses.”

BaseLine Tap House is something me and Teresa spoke about a few weeks ago on our all girl Facebook Live. The new corner pub will feature Californian beers and wines along with a selection of small bites (and lots of cheese!!) The pictures above are making me seriously hungry!

Grand Avenue will be opening to guests this Autumn, not too far away at all! I for one cannot wait as it sounds right up my street (or avenue should I say 😉 )

Smiles Included,

Abby

Disney Confirm Special Character Event For World Photo Day

Hey Thrill Seekers,

As everyone knows August 19th is World Photo Day…(I didn’t know either) and to mark this Disney will be putting on some extra special photo opportunities at their parks and Disney Springs.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Character Experiences:

Meeko joins Pocahontas at Character Landing on Discovery Island
Timon joins Rafiki at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Princess Atta joins Flik at Discovery Island near Creature Comforts

Photo opportunities:

Dream Big Princess photo backdrop before the park entrance (daylight hours only)
Jungle Book Magic Shot near Yak & Yeti Restaurant
Visit the PhotoPass photographer in DinoLand U.S.A. from 9-10 p.m. to have magical Mickey light effects added to your photo (example below)

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Character Experiences:

The Queen from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” Maleficent, and Cruella de Vil will meet with guests at Sunset Showcase. This opportunity will be available from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Photo opportunities:

Dream Big Princess photo backdrop outside the Theater of the Stars (daylight hours only)
Poison Apple Magic Shot on Sunset Boulevard
Fisheye lens in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard area

Epcot

Character Experiences:

Genie will join Princess Jasmine in the Morocco Pavilion
Mushu will join Mulan in the China Pavilion

Photo opportunities:

Dream Big Princess photo backdrop near Epcot Character Spot (daylight hours only)
Baymax Animated Magic Shot with the PhotoPass photographer located near Mouse Gear and the Fountain of Nations
Fisheye lens near the fountain close to the entrance to Spaceship Earth

Magic Kingdom Park

Character Experiences:

Dopey joins Snow White at Town Square Courtyard
Captain Hook joins Peter Pan in Fantasyland

Photo opportunities:

Dream Big Princess photo backdrop in Fantasyland (daylight hours only)
Cinderella’s Coach in Fantasyland
“Tangled” light painting photo opportunity near Ariel’s Grotto (available after dark)
Mickey Mouse Magic Shot on the bridge near Fairytale Garden
Main Street Vehicle near the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor (available in the morning and early afternoon)

Disney Springs

Photo opportunities:

Dream Big Princess photo backdrop next to the Marketplace Stage
Fairy Wings Magic Shot from the PhotoPass photographer roaming around the Marketplace near Tren-D (available from 1-10:30 p.m.)
You can also visit the Disney PhotoPass Studio at Disney Springs to enjoy special $99.95 plus shipping pricing on a Personalized Storybook now through August 20!

We’re hearing that memory maker will allow you to not only take advantage but keep the photos and of course Orlando AttractionTickets Disney tickets come with Memory Maker free of charge.

smiles included…

Jamie

 

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to open at Disney Springs

Hey Thrill Seekers,

It’s like Disney have finally turned on the Star Wars tap, following on from all the great information released by Disney at D23 including Star Wars: Galaxy Edge and the proposed hotel experience Disney have today confirmed that they’ll be opening a hyper-reality experience at Disney Springs.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will plunge guests directly into the iconic Star Wars galaxy. Visitors will move freely throughout the untethered, social and multi-sensory experience in a way that allows them to interact and engage with friends, family and Star Wars characters. This ground-breaking experience will open to the public at a new VOID Experience Centre at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season.

This first-of-its kind Star Wars experience is being produced by the world-class teams at Lucasfilm and ILMxLAB in collaboration with the team at The VOID. Soon you’ll have the opportunity to step beyond reality into a galaxy far, far away!

Here’s what Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at The VOID had to say about it;

At The VOID, we combine the magic of illusion, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds. A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of The VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.

Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLab, said;

At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories. Through our collaboration with The VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.

And to round it off Cliff Plumer, CEO of The VOID said;

“Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire marks an important milestone in the continued expansion of The VOID, which also joined the 2017 Disney Accelerator earlier this year. Through the power of The VOID, guests can now experience the magic of Star Wars first-hand.

When we hear more about details and an opening date we’ll let you know.

Smiles included…

Jamie

The Dress Shop Returns to Disney Springs

Hey Thrill Seekers,

The Dress Shop is a well known apparel and accessory collection which is created especially for Disney Parks. On July 27th The Dress Shop is returning to Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney springs. It was first introduced in the spring and is filled with loads of nostalgia that Disney fans love.

 David Soliman, area manager for merchandise presentation at Disney Springs, describes how they created the shop-within-a-shop at the popular accessories boutique.

“Since the collection gives a nod to mid-century style, we wanted to create a space that would feel sophisticated and unique while complementing the overall story of the Marketplace Co-Op,” explained David. “The dresses and accessories are colorful and beautiful, so we found many ways to prominently showcase them throughout the shop. The best example is the hatbox-inspired platform that greets guests at the entrance. It’s a striking visual that pulls people into the location.”

The Dress Shop Returns to Cherry Tree Lane in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs on July 27

A quote from Disney’s blog explains how Mariana Martinez who is a graphic designer partnered with the team to develop a “Dress Shop” monogram that is incorporated throughout the area.

“The team wanted something subtle and elegant so I started doodling using the letters ‘D’ and ‘S’,” said Mariana. “We ended up with a lovely monogram that guests may find hidden on the product displays. It’s a funny coincidence that ‘DS’ could also represent ‘Disney Springs’.”

The Dress Shop Returns to Cherry Tree Lane in Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs on July 27

Once The Dress Shop returns, guests will be able to see ten original dresses which were inspired by Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, the Orange Bird and the Haunted Mansion. They are also going to be introducing a Cinderella inspired dress which is going to contain metallic embroidery. – Now that is something I would buy!!

I can’t wait to visit this shop, so many pretty dresses to look at!

What do you think?

Smiles Included,

Jess.

Disney Gives Us A Glimpse Of Star Wars Land

Hey Thrill Seekers,

Disney’s awesome D23 expo begins this weekend and we’re all expecting big news from their yearly conference. So we were all a bit taken back when last night Disney gave us a glimpse at what we can expect from Star Wars Land!

Star Wars-inspired lands will transport guests to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before Wild Space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life

Here, guests will find themselves in the middle of the action at two signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customized secret mission, and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

I don’t think I’ve been as excited for a new land to open as I am with Star Wars Land the attention to detail looks like its going to be next level theming.

Check out this video to give you a proper look;

 

Smiles included…

Jamie

Is Tron Lightcycle Power Run coming to the U.S?

Hey thrill seekers,

Rumours have it, Shanghai Disneyland’s TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster may soon be making its way overseas to the major U.S. Disney parks! According to sources, budget and preliminary design teams for Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts have been sent out to Shanghai to transform the idea into reality in the U.S.

The addition of a TRON ride to Disney’s U.S. theme parks would be a great addition to the new movie-themed coaster and attractions at Disneyland and Disney World. The Guardians of the Galaxy mission : BREAKOUT attraction is now under-construction at Disney’s California Adventure park, while the massive Pandora: The World of Avatar has recently opened in Animal Kingdom. Furthermore, Star Wars Land rides and attractions are currently being made ahead of their openings at Disney parks in both California and Florida. Therefore, it would make sense to announce another movie-themed coaster.

The Lightcycle ride momentarily places fans into the world of Tron in a lightening speed roller coaster. As seen in the video here, the experience is over in less than two minutes, but it still looks amazingly fun!

It is yet to be confirmed but with D23 just round the corner, we are left to ponder whether Disney will announce the coaster as soon as this weekend!

Let us know in the comments, what you think of this new coaster, which we could see in our parks within the next couple of years!

Smiles included…

Cameron-Jai

Disney Reveal More Star Wars Land Details

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So just before the Easter break Universal and SeaWorld both revealed massive news regarding their parks. SeaWorld Orlando announced a new ride and confirmed the opening date of Kraken Unleashed not to be outdone Universal gave us an early Christmas present in the form of Harry Potter and hinted at more Potter news to come! But all was quiet on the Disney front… until now.

Disney Imagineers got together at this weekends Celebration of Star Wars event to tell us a little more about the land set to open in 2019.

They confirmed that the Planet the land will be based does not feature in any of the movies but can be found on the edge of the Unknown Regions. They also gave us a little back story confirming that the remote village was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but the prominence of the outpost has been bypassed with the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer less attention, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space. It’s also a convenient safe-haven for others intent on avoiding the expanding reach of the First Order.

Disney weren’t finished with a video and a back story they had more to share. Scott Trowbridge, Creative Director stated that visitors would be able to take control of the Millennium Falcon and interestingly the choices they make during this could effect the way characters in the Land react to them, almost like the old pick your adventure style books.

It sounds like we’re going to get an immersive story unique to guests that follows them around the Land, you’ll be part of the Star Wars Universe and each attraction will just add to your overall continuous experience.

Disney Imagineer Asa Kalama added;

There are going to be a ton of opportunities to help out and support the Resistance, lots of smugglers and bounty hunters who are looking for a little bit of help and might be willing to offer you up a side job, and for those of you who are interested in supporting The First Order, that will absolutely be an opportunity as well

Its was also mentioned that the Land would have its own unique sensory experience including smells and tastes including “Blue Milk”  (Bantha Milk).

We’re so excited for more information and we’re expecting more this July at Disney’s D23 Expo.

Smiles included…

Jamie

 

Miss Adventure Falls Has Opened And The Reviews Are In

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So as you may or may not know, Miss Adventure Falls finally opened at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon on the 12th March 2017, the first new attraction since Crush n’ Gusher in 2005,  but what are people’s thoughts on it so far?

We all know that a new attraction is like THE best thing to ever happen in the theme park world, but are we ever disappointed in them? By the sounds of things, Miss Adventure Falls is a massive hit!

Like no other ride at Typhoon Lagoon, Miss Adventure Falls is 2 minute’s long with a conveyor belt that takes you in your raft up to the top. Everyone has got to be happy about this, surely?! Not trecking up all the steps, raft in arm, in the scorching sun.

As it’s a 4 person raft, it is definitely a family ride and with no height limit it’s not going to be as thrilling as Crush ‘n’ Gusher.

From reviews we’ve been receiving although you could fit 4 people in, some people have said 3 was rather ‘snug’. Everyone is different shapes and sizes so who knows how many people you could squeeze in!

Disney always have a story behind every attraction and this one is so interesting! It brings to life, the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer who’s a treasure hunting heroine that got stranded at Typhoon Lagoon with her pet parrot, Duncan in a rogue storm years and years ago.

The raft you ride in, is your treasure raft that takes you on their adventure. You’ll go up past the Captains wrecked ship where she will be sitting with her parrot. This is the first of its kind at a Disney water park as the parrot is an animatronic animal so he will talk to you about how he is still hunting for treasure to this day!

Going through the queue and you will see the story briefly written on signs letting you know what you’re about to venture into! The conveyor belt is a high capacity system aiming to keep queue times shorter. So far the longest it’s been recorded at is 5 minutes!

Steven from Glasgow said;

It’s great fun, longer than expected, I loved the theming and although billed as a family ride, was still quite thrilling.

Scott from London said;

the ride was effortless – pure laziness is all that is required and what more could you ask for at a water park.

Janet from Cornwall said;

my daughter doesn’t usually like water parks as she’s not a strong swimmer so is always too scared to go on any of the rides but Miss Adventure Falls is perfect for her and now she wants to go on all of them!

Through the first couple of days, there were a few delays due to some of the rafts being abandoned at the bottom but this is all part of opening new attractions! You can see what works and what doesn’t and if it doesn’t, change it. I’m sure it won’t be long before Disney are up to full speed with this attraction and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Finally, there has been a lot of talk about Miss Adventure Falls replacing Shark Reef. This is not true guys!! Miss Adventure Falls is in a different spot to Shark Reef however Shark Reef has sadly closed! 🙁

If you haven’t already, take a look at Miss Adventure Falls here:

Have you experienced Miss Adventure Falls yet? What did you think?

Smiles Included…

Louise

 

Disney Reveals Star Wars Construction Update

Hey Thrill Seekers,

When Disney reveals Star Wars information a siren goes off here at OAT towers similar to using the Bat Signal and we all rush head first to the nearest computer to bath in its glory… and today is one of those days.

Scheduled to open in 2019 Disney World have already broken ground on the much anticipated land.

Instead of using one of the known planets in the Star Wars galaxy guests will be transported to a never-before-seen planet, a remote trading port and one of the last stops before wild space where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action.

Disney are also creating two new signature attractions: one that lets guests take the controls of Millennium Falcon on a customised secret mission and an epic Star Wars adventure that puts guests in the middle of a climactic battle between the First Order and the Resistance.

We’ve also heard that Disney are working on creating droids that guests can interact with, these droids will be built using new AI technology that also allow them to learn as they go!!

How amazing is Star Wars at Disney going to be?

Smiles included…

Jamie

Pandora: World of Avatar Ride Requirements

Hey Thrill Seekers,

So on our last Facebook Live we had a couple of questions about Pandora: The World of Avatar and in particular, will the rides be included in Fastpass+ and what d’ya know Disney released this exact information yesterday!

Lets start with Avatar Flight of Passage, Disney’s description of Avatar Flight of Passage is making me so impatient.

“Get a banshee’s-eye view of the beauty and grandeur of Pandora on a rite of passage you won’t soon forget! Deep in the heart of the Valley of Mo’ara, discover Avatar Flight of Passage—an all-new expedition that lets interstellar explorers like you climb atop a mountain banshee for a breathtaking, first-person flight over the moon’s incredible landscape. Bonding with a mountain banshee is a crucial step in the life of a Na’vi hunter—and flying on the back of one of these powerful winged creatures represents an important rite of passage.Now, as a visitor to Pandora, you’ll finally have the chance to test yourself in a similar way! “

The height requirement for this ride is 44 inches which is approximately 3.6 feet. The age interest is kids, tweens, teens and adults. Most importantly, can you use FastPass+ for Avatar Flight of Passage? The answer is yes. Wooo!

Next up is Navi River Journey, Disney’s description on their website gives me goosebumps..

 “Glide down a gentle, mysterious river and feel a sense of wonder as the full beauty of Pandora reveals itself. Located within the Valley of Mo’ara, Na’vi River Journey offers explorers an experience that has to be seen—and heard—to be believed! As your expedition begins, climb aboard a reed boat and drift downstream. After coasting through a series of caves, and passing by exotic glowing plants and amazing creatures of the rainforest, you’ll soon find yourself face-to-face with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. The adventure comes to a conclusion as the Shaman demonstrates her deep connection to the life force of Pandora—and sends positive energy out into the forest through the power of her music!”

Sounds beautiful doesn’t it? What’s better is that there is no height requirement for this ride as well as the age interest being for everyone meaning the whole family can enjoy it together. You can also book your Fastpass+ on the Navi River Journey. 🙂

 

Next is Valley of Mo’ara, this isn’t something that I knew a lot about so looking on the Disney website has really got me excited to have a wander around the valley..

 “Walk about through the Valley of Mo’ara and get ready to discover a world like no other! There’s more to Pandora than expeditions like Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey… much more! All around its enormous floating mountains, you’ll quickly uncover the valley’s one-of-a-kind dining and shopping experiences—along with sights, sounds and experiences that include: Exotic plants that come to life with beautiful bioluminescence each night, A Na’vi-built drum circle containing instruments playable by all, Na’vi totems and other cultural items found throughout the land, Brand-new Wilderness Explorers challenges and badges to collect. You may even come across tour guides from Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE), scientists from the Pandora Conservation Initiative (PCI), or even an eclectic expat or two!”

There is no height requirement and the age interest is for everyone. There is no Fastpass+ available for the Valley of Mo’ara as there will be no queue lines.

With the opening of Pandora: World of Avatar on the 27th May getting closer and closer we are loving any information that Disney are releasing about it.

Welcome to Pandora—a world similar to Earth… but distinctly unique in so many ways!

I don’t know about you but I really can’t wait and i’ll definitely be booking my fast passes for the Navi River Journey and Avatar Flight of Passage!!

Smiles Included…

Jess