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The 10 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (March 27-April 2 2017)

This week at Walt Disney World, security procedures change, a new "virtual queue" is tested at Disney's water parks, plus The Dress Shop opens at Disney Springs. 

Outside Walt Disney World, SeaWorld debuts its new Dolphin Days show, plus pricing is finally revealed for Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort. 

1. New security measures coming soon to the Magic Kingdom 

Beginning this week, all guests entering Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom via the Ticket and Transportation Center will go through new, permanent bag check stations and metal detectors  that are being installed at this location. This new security checkpoint will be located right after the tram stop, and guests will not be able to board the monorail or ferry boat to get to the park until they go through the screening area.

Though the vast majority of guests visiting the Magic Kingdom will be able to go through the security checks at the Transportation and Ticket Center, Disney has confirmed that this park will still have some bag checks and metal detectors for visitors that arrive at this park by other means, including by bus and direct resort watercraft.

In addition, Disney will also be installing bag checks and metal detectors at the three hotels on the monorail loop: Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, and The Polynesian Village Resort. These new security checkpoints will be installed at each of the resort’s individual monorail stations

2. Virtual queue test now underway at Disney's water parks

Image: Disney

Earlier this week Disney began testing virtual queues at both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Guests who want to experience select attractions (Including Blizzard Beach's Downhill Double Dipper, Slush Gusher and Summit Plummet and the new Miss Adventure Falls at Typhoon Lagoon) can now elect to join a “virtual queue” and receive a card with a printed return time with a narrow, 15-minute return time, to wear around their wrist. Guests can not pre-select what attractions they want to experience, and need to physically go up to the entrance to get a return time wristband. It is unknown how long this test will go on. 

3. The Dress Shop now open at Disney Springs 

Image: Disney

Much anticipated new shop The Dress Shop opened at Disney Springs this week inside the Marketplace Co-Op. Clothes sold inside this new pop-up shop will all be inspired by Disney characters, attractions, and more, including the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, The Enchanted Tiki Room, It’s a Small World, and more.

4. Rivers of Light to begin nightly performances

Though the newest nighttime spectacular at Disney's Animal Kingdom started with a seasonal schedule, as of April 9, Rivers of Light will begin seven-day operations for the spring and summer seasons at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The show will be performed twice nightly from April 9-22, and then go back to single, nightly performances for the rest of the summer.  

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