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This Week at Walt Disney World, Epcot gets a new addition, refurbishment dates are confirmed for Walt Disney World's two water parks, plus a new option debuts at Tiffins for budget conscious diners and an interesting new test begins at the Magic Kingdom!

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal announces a sequel to a 2014 house for this year's edition of Halloween Horror Nights, an interesting new shop pops up at Islands of Adventure, plus LEGOLAND Florida announces a limited-time ticket deal for the rest of the summer. 

1. New music group debuts in the World Showcase 

This week a new live-entertainment act debuted at the World Showcase’s Morocco Pavilion. Named Musique Aramenco, this new act performs live Morrocan music and is accompanied by a belly dancer. Musique Aramenco is currently scheduled to perform five days a week from Wednesday through Sunday. 

2. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach refurbishment schedules released

 Image: Disney 

The dates for the annual winter refurbishments of Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach have now been confirmed. Blizzard Beach will be closed this fall for two months from, October 23 2016 through to December 24 2016, and Typhoon Lagoon will then close for an extended three month refurbishment that from December 25 2016 through to March 11 2017. Though unconfirmed, it is likely that the longer refurbishment period at Typhoon Lagoon is to make way for a new family river ride, which you can read more about here.

3. Tickets now on sale for new Disney Countdown to Midnight New Year's Eve event

Image: Disney

Disney has announced a new one night only New Year’s Eve event that will take place at Disney's Contemporary Resort. The Disney Countdown to Midnight costs $225 per guest, and will take place at the Contemporary’s convention center at 8:00 PM on December 31 2016.

The event is all-inclusive, with the price covering unlimited cocktails, beer and wine, as well as a dinner that features tastes of signature dishes from the California Grill, Flying Fish Cafe, Cítricos and Narcoossee's.

During this special event guests will also be able to view the Magic Kingdom's New Year's Eve Fantasy in the Sky fireworks right from the outdoor patio area. Tickets are now available here

4. Tiffins introduces new lunch options

Image: Disney

If you want to get a taste of Tiffins without breaking the bank, Disney has introduced a lower cost way to do so via a new Light Bites menu and Taste of Tiffins option. The Light Bites menu includes appetizer favorites like lobster-popcorn Thai curry soup and archaeologist salad, which each cost less than $15.00. 

Guests who are a little bit hungrier may want to indulge in the Taste of Tiffins menu, where guests can choose two items, paired with a Jade Blend Rice for the flat price of $28.00 per guest (not including drink). Choices on this new menu include the following:

  • Flash-fried Icy Blue Mussels
  • Black-Eyed Pea Fritters
  • Crispy Yellowtail Snapper
  • Sustainable Seasonal Fish Crudo
  • 72-Hour Beef Short Rib
  • Salad of Roasted Baby Beets
  • Market Vegetable Curry
  • Marinated Grilled Octopus
  • Chermoula Rubbed Chicken
  • Masa and Pulled Pork Tamale

Though the regular Tiffins menu continues to be available for both lunch and dinner, guests who want to try the Light Bites or Taste of Tifins menu will need to stop by this eatery between 11:30am to 3:30pm.  

5. FuelRod kiosks appear around Walt Disney World

 Image: FuelRods

Disney has introduced a new convenience across Walt Disney World that brings mobile charging device kiosks to select locations in all four theme parks (as well as Disney Springs). Sponsored and maintained by FuelRod, these new kiosks (each themed to the park where they are located) now allow guests to purchase a fully-charged FuelRod portable charging device for $30, which includes a FuelRod charger, 6” USB Type-A to micro-USB cable (compatible with most Android devices), an Apple 30-pin to USB cable (compatible with iPhone 4S and below), and an Apple Lightning to USB cable (used for iPhone 5 and above).

However, the best part of this new service (and what might make it potentially worth the $30 investment for some guests) is the ability for those who purchase this charger to exchange depleted chargers at any FuelRod kiosk (including other kiosks around Walt Disney World) for another fully charged FuelRod charger instantly whenever they would like, for as long as they want.

6. PhotoPass test currently happening at Magic Kingdom

Disney is currently testing the use of stationary PhotoPass cameras that guests can activate themselves in a number of places around the Magic Kingdom including in front of Rapunzel’s Tower near the Tangled Toilets as well as the Sword in the Stone in Fantasyland.

During this tests, guests can pose and take their picture in front of the camera, and then link their photos to a My Disney Experience account with a quick MagicBand swipe.    Cast members are now on hand to assist guests with the new system, and all participants who take a picture with this new hardware will receive a free photo download during the trial period.

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