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The 11 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (August 1-7, 2016)

4. Princess Elena Royal Welcome show announced

Princess Elena of Avalor will be making her first appearance at Walt Disney World next week on August 11th, when a special Royal Welcome show will debut on the Cinderella Castle Forecourt stage at the Magic Kingdom. After the first showing, this new royal welcome for Elena of Avalor will be presented several times daily at the park from August 12th, and will feature Cinderella and Prince Charming welcoming this new princess to the Magic Kingdom. Princess Elena will then arrive accompanied by a troupe of regal banner carriers and musicians and will perform the song “My Time,” from the Elena of Avalor TV series (which is airing now on Disney Channel). You can check out a video preview above. Though this new show has been characterized as a limited-time show, no end date has been set yet. 

5. New limited time character experience introduced for annual passholders and Memory Maker purchasers

Image: Disney

The Magic Kingdom is now playing host to a special limited-time one-on-one meet and greet with Belle at the Liberty Square Heritage House. This character experience will be available daily exclusively to guests who have purchased Memory Maker or Memory Maker One Day packages, as well as Walt Disney World annual passholders with complimentary Disney PhotoPass entitlements (which include the Platinum Plus, Gold and Premier annual pass levels). When guests arrive at this new experience, they will need to verify their pass and/or Memory Maker status by scanning their MagicBand before entering. 

During this meet and greet experience, Belle will be appearing in her iconic, yellow formal dress, and will be available for these special guests to meet and take pictures with during select times from 11:00 AM to 5:40 PM. This new character experience will be available through the end of the month. 

6. Disney announces $500 Star Wars augmented reality experience

Image: Disney

Guests staying at Walt Disney World Resort hotels can now take part in a new augmented reality experience based on the Star Wars Rebels TV series. Guests who sign up can use their smartphone to communicate with Ezra Bridger, who will guide them on an undercover mission that takes them from their room all the way to Disney's Hollywood Studios. After putting on the included Imperial Security Officer disguise, guests will head to Star Tours, where hidden data they're carrying on their devices will be secretly transmitted. 

Once the mission has been completed, guests will be able to return to their resort room to unlock a mysterious box holding a rebel medal of honor, like the one in the film Star Wars: A New Hope. Theme park tickets are required and not included, as is an iPhone or Android device. 

This new experience will be available beginning August 15th, and will cost $500 per room. 

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