This week at Walt Disney World, Epcot’s Grand Fiesta Tour receives an interesting new “plus”, Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuts four new attractions in one day, plus a new fireworks show gets a launch date nearly a month earlier than expected. 

Outside Walt Disney World, plans for a potentially massive expansion for Universal Orlando Resort comes to light, SKYPLEX gets ready to take its next steps, plus another record-breaking attraction is set for a vote before the Orange County Commission to determine its future... 

1. Magic Kingdom opening day animatronics added to the Grand Fiesta Tour 

Image: Disney

This week the Grand Fiesta Tour at Epcot’s Mexico pavilion got an unexpected plus when animatronic figures of characters Donald, Jose and Panchito were installed at the finale of the ride. However, this is more than just a simple improvement as these specific animatronics have a deep history and connection to Walt Disney World.

Back when the resort was still known as “the Florida project” these animatronics were displayed as part of a 1969 showcase intended to introduce government officials to the project. These animatronics were then shipped off to the Magic Kingdom and were used as part of The Mickey Mouse Revue show, an opening day attraction which featured 96 Audio-Animatronic Disney characters, who performed favorite songs under the baton of Mickey Mouse.

Image: Disney

Though the Mickey Mouse Revue closed at Magic Kingdom on September 14, 1980, Jose, Panchito and Donald were moved (along with their 93 bandmates) to Tokyo Disneyland, where the show was performed daily for 26 years before closing to make way for PhilharMagic. But now after nearly three decades away from their Florida home, these three amigos have finally returned home to Walt Disney World. You can read a whole lot more about the history behind these very special animatronics at the D23 website.

2. New attractions open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios 

This week was a big one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as a total of four new attractions made their debut at the park: Star Wars Launch Bay, Club Disney, Holidays Happen Here Dance Party and the new Jedi Training Academy show, Trials of the Temple. You can get a look inside all these new attractions and read a little bit more about which ones are worth visiting on your next trip to the park here

3. Symphony in the Stars to open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios earlier than expected

Image: Disney

Looking to the future of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney has moved up the debut of the Symphony In The Stars: A Galactic Spectacular nightly fireworks show to December 18th, 2015, a full month ahead of schedule. Guests who want to get the best seat in the house can also now book Symphony in the Stars: A Galactic Spectacular Dessert Party, which is available daily and offers up-close viewing of  the fireworks show, desserts, and specialty drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Attendees will also receive a souvenir Chewbacca stein to bring home. This upcharge event costs $69.00 per adult (age 10 and over) and $39.00 for children (ages 3 to 9).

4. Comedy Warehouse to return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for one week engagement

Image: Disney 

It has been confirmed that the annual Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special will indeed return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios this holiday season with a one-week engagement beginning Saturday December 19th 2015. 6 shows will be performed daily, but a venue for this returning show has not yet been announced.

5. Skipper Canteen to open very soon

Image: Disney

Though we don’t yet have an official opening date for the Skipper Canteen restaurant, it can’t be too far away, as Cast Previews for this area were held earlier this week on December 6th. Judging by past restaurant openings, this typically means that soft openings (and an eventual grand opening) for this much anticipated new restaurant can’t be too far away! You can read more about this new restaurant here


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