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8 BIG Updates from Walt Disney World (And Beyond) This Week (January 7-13, 2019)

This week at Walt Disney World, a new dining package is announced for Epcot, an opening target is set for the new garage at Disney Springs, plus Star Wars theming begins 

Outside Walt Disney World, Universal announces the first Mardi Gras concerts of 2019 plus SeaWorld offers a free ticket deal until the end of the month! 

1. New IllumiNations dining package now available for farewell year

Image: Disney

Though there are plenty of new attractions coming to Walt Disney World in 2019, there will be one big closure this year: IllumiNations. However, though 2019 will be the final year for this iconic show, Disney is introducing a new IllumiNations Dining Package, which will be available beginning January 18 2019. For $85 for adults (including tax and gratuity), and $35 for children, guests can enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu at the Rose and Crown and a view of IllumiNations from the patio seating next to the lagoon. .

2. DVC Members can now book special Epcot Festival of the Arts Dessert Party

Disney Vacation Club members can now book a special Disney on Broadway Dessert Party at the Epcot International Festival of the Arts on February 25th. Event attendees will enjoy guaranteed seating at one of the evening’s Disney on Broadway concerts and an 8:30-9:30 PM fireworks dessert party before getting the chance to meet Disney on Broadway stars during cocktail hour from 9:30-10:30 PM in the DVC Member Lounge.

Performers will include Ashley Brown (Broadway’s original Mary Poppins), Josh Strickland (Broadway’s original Tarzan), Alton Fitzgerald White (Broadway’s record-breaking Lion King, with 4,308 performances as Mufasa) and Kissy Simmons (Nala in “The Lion King.”)

The cost to book this experience is $77 for adults and $52 for children. DVC Members will need to call Member Services beginning today for details and reservations.

3. Orange County Sheriffs Department to set up permanent office at Disney Springs

Though the Orange County Sheriff's Department has a strong presence at Walt Disney World, it was announced this week that Disney Springs will play host to an office for the OCSD that will open in the first half of 2019 in the Town Center area of Disney Springs, next to a new ticket sales office that will open in the space between Blaze Pizza and Zara. No specific opening date for this law enforcement location (or the adjoining ticket office) have been announced yet. 

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