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The 8 BIG Updates From Walt Disney World (and Beyond) This Week (January 3 - 8, 2018)

This week at Walt Disney World, Epcot loses a long-running attraction, changes come to the Wilderness Explorers activity at Disney's Animal Kingdom, and preparations for a new temporary entrance are being made at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort teases some future announcements plus a limited time event is coming in just a few weeks to LEGOLAND Florida. 

1. The Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable set to close forever next month

Over a year ago an unexpected refurbishment fueled rumors that the Lion King attraction Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable (which has been at The Land pavilion since 1995) and now this attraction will have its final showing on February 3 2018, after which this space will be taken over by Disney Performing Arts group, for performances and classes primarily for visiting youth. 

2. Changes coming to Wilderness Explorers activity

The Wilderness Explorers activity at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which allows guests to earn sticker badges for learning about animal-related topics at the park will be changing in some crucial ways as of this week: 

  • Guests wanting to earn the Signaling Badge will need to head to a new area in front of the Chester and Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures shop
  • The African Culture Badge can now be earned at the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris 
  • The Safari Badge can now be earned near the Curiosity Kiosk in Harambe. 
  • The Music Badge and the Telescope Badge have been discontinued. 

3. Florida Resident Discover Disney ticket returns for 2018 

Though it isn't offered every year, Disney has announced that they will again allow Florida residents to purchase special "Discover Disney" tickets that offer deep discounts on regular theme park admission during a specific period. And though we assumed this deal would come back in 2018, it has now been confirmed that Florida residents with valid state identification (such as a driver's license) can purchase the following multi-day tickets at some very lucrative prices: 

  • 3-day ticket: $159.00 ($179.00 with the Park Hopper add-on) for all guests 3 and older
  • 4-day ticket: $179.00 ($199.00 with the Park Hopper add-on) for all guests 3 and older

This new ticket deal offer a huge savings over the traditional Magic Your Way tickets (which normally cost $349.00 for three days with park hopper for regular guests and $425.00 for four days with park hopper), and is available for Florida Residents to take advantage of until June 20, 2018. These special Discover Disney tickets can be used any day between now and June 24, 2018 with no restrictions on time in between visits.

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About #4 on the list. Leaving the resort at the end of your stay is always a bummer. You have to be out of your room early and you're plane may not be taking off for quite a while. However I don't mind going to the airport early anymore. Ever since I found out that the Hyatt at MCO offers day rooms for $100. These rooms Avail you of all the use of their amenities including the pool. Now I just go check in at the Hyatt, hang out at the pool and wait for my check in time at the gate. Tip the bellhop and he'll help you with your luggage. very relaxing. Even though you have an assigned time for your bus trip taking an earlier bus is simply a matter of asking the bus driver and if there's room on the bus.

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