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The 10 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (June 8-14, 2015)

This week's Walt Disney World update includes a massive change coming to one of the Magic Kingdom's most popular table service locations that could become permanent. We also take a look at a short refurbishment confirmed to be coming to an animal exhibit at Disney's Animal Kingdom and share a sneak peek inside a new store opening as part of the Harambe Marketplace expansion. 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida announces its first house for Halloween Horror Nights 25 plus SeaWorld Orlando gets a pair of adorable new arrivals! 

1. Frozen Ever After and Royal Sommerhus detailed

Earlier this week it was announced that the new Frozen ride under construction at Epcot will officially be named Frozen Ever After, and will feature the same type of projection-enhanced animatronics that are currently used at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. In addition to these two big developments, it was also revealed that the ride will feature simulated snow during an in-ride rendition of ‘Let it Go’ and will use the same boats as former attraction Maelstrom. We’ve got an in-depth look at this new attraction with plenty more details here

The Royal Sommerhus Frozen meet and greet was also confirmed this week, although details about how this experience might differ from the current Elsa and Anna meet and greet (or why this space is so big!) were not given.

2. Tony’s Town Square combines lunch and dinner service

Tony's Town Square Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom will be switching to continuous service beginning July 3, offering one menu for both lunch and dinner with daily service beginning at 11:00AM and lasting until park close. This will help boost capacity at this popular dining location, which used to close for nearly two hours between lunch and dinner service. This change is expected to at least last through the summer, and could become permanent.

3. Bat exhibit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to be refurbished

 The bat exhibit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom's Maharajah Jungle Trek will be closed for a short refurbishment beginning tomorrow, while the bat's netting is replaced and brand new fans are installed. This small update is expected to last for 4-6 weeks, during which time the bat house will be inaccessible from the larger jungle trek trail. 

4. Vivoli Gelateria opens at Disney Springs

Vivoli Gelateria welcomed its first guests this past week. This new treat stop offers more than 20 flavors of authentic Italian gelato, plus various baked goods as well as an assortment of hand-crafted coffee beverages. Interestingly, this new Disney Springs location is the first Vivoli Gelateria outside of Italy, and features an open kitchen where guests can see fresh gelato being made. This new dining location is located just across from The BOATHOUSE and is open daily.

5. Zuri’s Sweets to open June 17

 

While the Harambe Marketplace officially opened last week at Disney's Animal Kingdom, this new area will be getting another tenant next week: Zuri’s Sweets.  This new retail location will open on Wednesday, June 17, and will sell various packaged candy items for guests to grab and go as well as other snacks including trail mix. Interestingly, this new location will also sell packaged spices and sauces inspired by those used at Flame Tree Barbecue.

 

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I have continued to talk to people by the hundreds and the overwhelming consensus is that Disney is foolish for putting Frozen at Epcot. It doesn't fit there, it is like putting Robin Hood in Tomorrow land. It just doesn't fit. With the hundreds I have talked to, much less than 1% tolerate the idea, no one loves the idea (even those that love Frozen aren't crazy about it). It doesn't even make sense with Illuminations. It seems like it is a rush overreaction to the popularity of the movie.

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