This week at Walt Disney World, Disney Springs hosts yet another grand opening, a new interactive element of Space Mountain quietly debuts, plus Disney discontinues production of an iconic souvenir that has been around for decades.
Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort has revealed more details about what guests can expect from the newest version of The Incredible Hulk roller coaster, Busch Gardens Tampa gives fans yet another look at the new Cobra's Curse family roller coaster plus LEGOLAND Florida announces an exciting new summertime event that will bring some new nighttime entertainment to the park.
1. Town Center district and the Lime parking garage now open at Disney Springs
Today is the big grand opening of Disney Springs’ new Town Center area, which is in the center of the expanding shopping district. 20 new shopping and dining locations will be opening with this new area of Disney Springs, including the Disney owned D-Luxe Burger, Amoretti's Patisserie, plus a number of third-party retailers like Everything but Water, Sephora, Tommy Bahama, Vera Bradley, MAC Cosmetics, Alex & Ani, and more.
In addition to the new district opening, today is also the grand opening of the Lime parking garage, which sits right in front of the Town Center and effectively doubles the amount of parking available at Disney Springs, hopefully making parking jams a thing of the past!
2. Storymaker enhancements come to Space Mountain's post-ride area
Though we’ve already told you about the various unannounced enhancements that have been coming to Disney attractions thanks to Storymaker technology, this week eagle-eyed guests may have noticed that their names were displayed in the post-show area of Space Mountain (where they used to see themselves) attached to “reviews”, similar to the experience guests can see in the queue at Expedition Everest. This is yet another fun application of this technology, and we expect to see even more Storymaker enhancements roll out in the next few weeks.
3. New food kiosks to open later this month around Echo Lake at Disney's Hollywood Studios
One of the biggest problems guests have been running in to at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in recent months is the lack of food options around the park. With Studio Catering Company, Herbie’s Drive in, and Pizza Planet all closed, the pressure has been put on the park’s four remaining quick service eateries, and unfortunately, guests have had to deal with some really long lines during the lunch and dinner rush as a result.
Fortunately, it looks like Disney has wisely found a solution to this problem, and will be constructing three new food kiosks around Echo Lake, collectively known as Echo Lake Eats. The first of these, Sliders to the Stars, will feature specialty sliders including a BBQ and brisket mini. The second option is Hollywood Waffles of Fame, which will serve a number of waffle sandwiches. Finally, guests can soon stop by Bocados del Lago Nachos y Empanadas, will stay true to its name and offer nachos and empanadas. Though no firm opening date has been given, these new kiosks should be open by the end of the month.
4. Disney dollars officially discontinued
Though their use has declined in recent years, for many Disney Dollars have been an iconic part of a Disney vacation. However, Disney announced earlier this week that they were no longer printing new Disney Dollars, and the last day to purchase them was yesterday, May 14th.
Though this is a sad development for those who loved purchasing and collecting Disney Dollars, those who still have them don’t need to worry, as Disney dollars can still be spent freely around the resort (or of course collected for sentimental value!)
5. Daisy Duck and Pluto switch meet and greet locations at Epcot
This week a character switcheroo was confirmed at Epcot, with Daisy, who formerly met in front of the World Showcase, moving to the front of the park right next to Spaceship Earth, and Pluto taking her former spot in the middle of the park. It is unknown if this is just a limited-time test for these characters or a permanent change.