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The 10 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (November 13-19, 2017)

This week at Walt Disney World, Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios gets an update, a pair of new openings hits Epcot, plus the Magic Kingodm brings back paper FastPasses for a limited time! 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal debuts a new holiday show plus SeaWorld releases images of the vehicles for its upcoming new ride

1. New holiday package pickup perk now available at Disney Springs

Image: John Frost, Flickr (license

Earlier this week Disney announced a new "Hands-Free Shopping" service that is now available at participating locations at Disney Springs. Guests that make purchases at World of Disney and other participating shops can leave their items at the place they purchased them and then have them delivered at the end of the day at the Welcome Center (which is located in the Town Center neighborhood). Though package pickup has been an amenity at the Walt Disney World parks for years, this is the first time this has been available at Disney Springs. 

2. Special holiday paper FastPasses to be given out at the Magic Kingdom

Image: Disney

Though paper FastPasses have been out of commission at Walt Disney World for almost a half-dozen years, it looks like some guests visiting the Magic Kingdom over the next few weeks may receive a special “surprise and delight” FastPass on select evenings in November and December when the park is very busy. These special paper FastPasses will only be valid on the same date and can be used to skip the line at any attraction in the park except for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Peter Pan’s Flight, or any of the character greeting locations found around the park.

3. New scenes debut inside Star Tours

Image: Disney

Beginning this week, a number of changes will be in effect for Star Tours. Now when guests board this ride, coordinates will be locked, with the first stop being the familiar Jakku sequence, which was added when Star Wars: The Force Awakens opened in theaters back in 2015. Then after this initial location, guests will travel to the new planet of Crait, where some kind of battle is happening. Fighter pilot Poe Dameron enlists the help of Star Tours to help beat back AT-ATs commanded by the evil General Hux, who also makes an appearance during this section.

After guests make the jump to hyperspace from Crait, they will visit a brand new planet named Batuu, which may look a little bit familiar to those who have been following the development of Star Wars Land. This new planet is actually the new planet where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be set, allowing guests who board this attraction an advance look at this new land.

4. SpectacuLAB now open at Innoventions East

Image: Disney

Announced last month, SpectacuLAB, presented by Murata, is a new show housed in Innoventions East  that features real demonstrations that bring to life the wonders of science and innovation, presented by a group of real scientists, along with an eager tech-savvy intern, for a series of engaging experiments demonstrating basic principles of science.

Guests can catch this brand new show (which opened just a few days ago) five times daily inside the former Vision House, which has been completely remodeled with plenty of seating for guests wanting to check out this new entertainment offering. While there are benches for adult guests, younger guests are encouraged to sit up front on the carpet so they can get a close look at the scientific presentation. 

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