This week at Walt Disney World, Disney's Hollywood Studios gets a new upcharge event, a long-awaited dining location is confirmed, plus the full Eat to the Beat convert lineup is revealed for 2016's Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Outisde Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort opens both its newest ride and newest hotel, plus SeaWorld Orlando tests out a new event just for Pokémon Go fans.
1. Early Morning Magic announced for Disney's Hollywood Studios
Earlier this week Disney announced that its Early Morning Magic event (which was originally announced for the Magic Kingdom earlier this year and includes exclusive access to three Fantasyland attractions as well as a buffet-style breakfast) would be extended into the late summer and fall at this park. However, in an interesting twist, it looks like this event is also expanding into Disney's Hollywood Studios as well.
Like its Magic Kingdom cousin, the Disney's Hollywood Studios version of Early Morning Magic will kick off before the park opens, and allow guests to begin entering the park at 7:45am to experience a number of attractions, including Toy Story Midway Mania, Star Tours and character meet and greets with Mickey, Minnie, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, and Olaf. A buffet-style breakfast at the ABC Commissary restaurant will also be included.
This newly expanded event kicks off on August 1, 2016 and will cost $69 per adult and $59 per child (ages 3-9), plus tax.
2. PizzeRizzo confirmed to be coming later this year to the Muppet Courtyard
Though we’ve known about it for some time, Disney finally confirmed this week that the former Pizza Planet quick service dining location (which has been under refurbishment for several months now) is being turned into a new Muppets-themed restaurant in order to fit in with the newly-created Muppets Courtyard land at this park. And as expected, this new dining location is being themed to everyone’s favorite rat—Rizzo!
As you might imagine (considering the name) PizzeRizzo will basically have the same menu items as the former Pizza Planet restaurant, with personal pan pizzas confirmed to be headlining the menu at this reimagined eatery.
Though construction is still well underway on this new (ish) dining location, Disney has confirmed that this PizzeRizzo should be open sometime later this fall. Interestingly, the official Disney Parks Twitter account initially confirmed a September opening date for PizzeRizzo. However, that Tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with a generic “Fall 2016” date.
3. Louis and the Tick-Tock Croc return to in-park entertainment at the Magic Kingdom
Several weeks ago Disney removed two characters from its in-park entertainment lineup: Louis from Princess and the Frog (who was originally supposed to appear in the Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire show but has been absent since its debut) as well as the Tick Tock Croc from Peter Pan (who is a part of the Festival of Fantasy Parade) in response to a tragic incident at the resort.
However, it looks like Disney has decided to quietly reintroduce these characters, as the Tick Tock Croc returned to the Festival of Fantasy and Louis made his long-awaited debut in Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire just a few days ago. The latter is especially interesting, as it turns out quite a bit was cut from the show when the decision was made to pull this character from this show during its opening weeks. You can see the newly extended Princess and the Frog section of this show here (compared to the old one here) to get a feel for how different the show really is with this character addition.