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This week at Walt Disney World, Disney clarifies a recent transportation change, preferred parking expands across the resort, plus the resort's first "designer" line of MagicBands is announced. 

Outside Walt Disney World, SeaWorld's Mako roller coaster begins soft openings a week before its official launch, a special summertime event gets detailed, and Universal Orlando Resort confirms yet another haunted house for this year's 26th edition of Halloween Horror Nights. 

1. Skipper Canteen restaurant now accepting advance dining reservations 

Though this restaurant has only been taking walk-up guests and same-day reservations in the months since it has been open, this dining location will finally begin taking advance reservations starting immediately via the My Disney Experience service. 

2. New water park bus transportation options refined for resort guests 

Image: Disney

Last week we told you about the new bus routes for Walt Disney World Resort hotels to get to both of Disney's water parks, and in the days since this new policy was implemented, Disney has clarified their new routes for the summer:

  • Guests wanting to get to Typhoon Lagoon from a resort will need to take a bus to Disney Springs, which will also make a stop at Typhoon Lagoon. Before 1:00PM a bus transfer at Disney Springs won’t be necessary, but after this time, a bus change might be required.
  • Guests wanting to get to Blizzard Beach will first need to take a bus to Disney's Animal Kingdom, and then transfer to a bus going directly to Blizzard Beach from Animal Kingdom.
  • Guests staying at the All Star, Animal Kingdom Lodge and Coronado Springs resorts will still enjoy direct bus service to Blizzard Beach and will not have to transfer at Animal Kingdom.

3. Preferred parking comes to both Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach

Image: Disney

In a potentially linked development, beginning today, preferred parking will be available at Disney's Blizzard Beach, and at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. Like at the main theme parks, guests can pay an additional $15 fee in addition to the existing cost to park that will allow guests to park a little closer to the main entrance. Those who take advantage of this option will also get a complimentary bottle of water for each guest as well.

4. New Dooney & Bourke designer MagicBands coming to Walt Disney World this summer 

Image: Disney

Disney is introducing its first line of “designer” MagicBands which will feature Dooney & Bourke designs based off of the classic Disneyana, Body Parts and Mickey and Minnie Mouse Downtown prints. Each MagicBand will be available in a Limited Edition of 1500 per design and will have a slider that says Dooney and Bourke. Because of the designer nature of these new MagicBands, they will be a little bit more expensive than park guests may be used to, costing $48.00 each. While we don't have a specific release date yet, these MagicBands should begin hitting shelves later this summer. 

5. Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience upcharge experience announced for Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney has launched a new premium tour experience at Disney's Animal Kingdom, that takes guests into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve after dark. Tour groups for this special experience are limited to just 12 guests, and inlcudes a 2 hour safari, complimentary photo services, a souvenir, as well as food and drink.

Tours will be offered daily beginning June 26, and will take place at 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm. The cost is $169.00 and park admission is required and is not included. 

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