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The 9 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (May 1-7, 2017)

This week at Walt Disney World, Disney releases a new sneak peek at its upcoming new nighttime spectacular, two new characters make their way to Disney's Hollywood Studios, plus the Magic Kingdom monorail gets a schedule adjustment.

Outside Walt Disney World, LEGOLAND announces a new deal on one of its most popular annual pass options, Universal Orlando Resort quietly confirms something we've long suspected, plus Busch Gardens offers a special dining experience just for mother's day! 

1. New rehearsal footage of Happily Ever After released 

We're just a week away from the grand opening of Happily Ever After at the Magic Kingdom and Disney has released a last minute sneak preview of the show that includes in-park footage of a recent full rehearsal, and a first look at some of the lighting effects that will be a part of this show. You can check out the full video above. 

2. Star Lord and baby Groot now meeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Image: Ricky Brigante, Flickr (license)

As rumored previously, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 characters Star Lord and Baby Groot are now meeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios inside the One Man's Dream attraction where Moana was previously meeting just a few weeks ago. This new Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 meet and greet is expected to continue through the end of the year (presumably ending sometime after this film's DVD release). 

3. New kiosks and menu items confirmed for Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 

Image: Disney

Though frequent guests have come to expect their favorites year after year at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, each year also brings new choices to this annual event as well. It has now been confirmed that this year's event will feature 35 marketplaces, including two newbies: India and Spain. That 35 number isn't an accident by the way, and corresponds with Epcot’s 35th anniversary.

However, though this really is the first time that India has been represented at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (which kind of feels like an oversight considering the popularity of Indian food, even over at Disney's Animal Kingdom), calling Spain a "new" kiosk is a little false, as Spain was a part of the 2011 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival as well. 

Image: Disney

While we're going to have to wait several more months before we get full menus for this year's festival, Disney has released a few teaser menu items to get fans' mouths watering nearly four months before this year's festival gets underway: 

  • Crispy chicken with griddled cornbread and gravy at the Farm Fresh marketplace
  • Charcuterie in a cone at Spain marketplace
  • Spicy korma chicken and the pistachio cardamom cake from the India marketplace.
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We went there this weekend, please note that Baby Groot is only there some of the time. We waited 35 minutes only to get an off-brand chris pratt lookalike. We were clearly disappointed and they gave a vague answer to "come back maybe later"

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