This week at Walt Disney World, Epcot confirms the opening of two new attractions, Disney’s Hollywood Studios announces some changes ahead of the upcoming holiday season, and a schedule change takes place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Outside Walt Disney World, Universal confirms some new talent for this year’s Celebration of Harry Potter event, SeaWorld announces a new ride, and the Orlando Eye introduces a nighttime specialty offering.
1. Colortopia exhibit opens at Epcot
The brand new Colortopia exhibit welcomed its first guests at Epcot's Innoventions pavillion this week, allowing guests to explore the world of color around them in some fun ways. From “painting” the walls with splashes of light from a special glowing "magic" brush to learning more about how color shapes our perception via an informational video featuring Ty Burrell from ABC’s Modern Family, there is plenty to for guests to do in this newly-opened area. Guests can even continue the fun outside this exhibit with the official Colortopa app, which allows them to explore the different color palettes used around the park.
2. Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival to open in December at Epcot
Late last Friday it was announced that Epcot attraction Captain EO would be closing for good on December 6, 2015 and a new experience would be replacing this attraction just in time for the holidays. The newly-confirmed Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival will include 3 Disney/Pixar shorts (to be revealed later) enhanced with 4D in-theater effects. You can learn more about this new experience here.
3. New Star Wars: The Force Awakens “destination” to join Star Tours this week
Though we’ve still got a few weeks to wait before Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters, fans can get a little sneak peek at a brand new planet featured in this film by taking a ride on Star Tours, which will be getting a new “destination” next week. Though we don’t have a firm opening date yet, we do know that the new film clip will be soft opening at least part of next week, with a full rollout to come very soon. You can check out a small preview below:
4. Santa arrives at Disney Springs
Christmas has already come to all four Walt Disney World parks and now the holiday has officially kicked off at Disney Springs as well with Santa’s arrival at the shopping complex. This year, you can find Santa’s Chalet in the marketplace, near the Disney Springs stage. Guests who want to meet Santa will be able to do so daily from noon to 12:30, and PhotoPass photographers will be on hand to help capture that special moment perfectly.
5. Disney’s Hollywood Studios expands rope drop procedure ahead of holidays
In order to help prepare Disney's Hollywood Studios for the massive crowds expected to show up this holiday season, this park has expanded its rope drop procedures to allow larger volumes of guests during park opening. Guests will now be allowed through the park gates at 8:30 AM, and will then rope drop ceremonies will happen at 8:45AM in the following three places: on Sunset Boulevard between Reel Vogue and Planet Hollywood, between the Brown Derby and Center Stage and between Center Stage and Min and Bill's Dockside Diner.
6. Flights of Wonder times change at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Last month Disney switched up the times for Flights of Wonder as a limited time test that moved the third show of the day an hour earlier from 1:45 PM to 12:45 PM. This test was apparently successful, as Disney has now made this change permanent, with shows now being offered at 10:45 AM, 11:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 2:45 PM, and 3:45 PM, with an additional 4:45 PM on show offered on six-show days.