This week at Walt Disney World, upcoming projects at Epcot and the Magi Kingdom hit major milestones, we get one final sneak peek at Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, plus Disney's Animal Kingdom extends operating hours for the holidays

Outside Walt Disney World, SeaWorld Orlando offers a free gift for annual passholders, plus Universal Orlando Resort announces the character lineup for an upcoming special event! 

1. Awesome Planet sign installed at The Land pavilion

Image: Disney

One project that we haven't heard a lot about in recent months is Awesome Planet, which was originally scheduled to open sometime this year at Epcot's The Land pavilion. And though we still don't have an opening date for this new film, a new sign has been installed where the entrance to this new film-based attraction will eventually go, which is hopefully a sign that we'll see an opening soon! Here's the official description of this show:

An on-screen exploration of the realm we call home, showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity and dynamic story of our earth with all the grandeur guests have come to expect.

With spectacular nature photography, immersive in-theater effects, and space sequences created by none other than Industrial Light & Magic (which provided the cinematic foundation for the Star Wars franchise), “Awesome Planet” will stir Epcot guests and deliver an environmental message that will resonate far beyond its final scenes.

2. Final sneak peek released for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance before opening

We're less than a week away from the opening of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and in celebration of the imminent opening of this new attraction, Disney has shared yet another sneak peek of this attraction that includes a first look at some of the action scenes in this attraction. Check out the video above for our most complete look yet inside this new attraction. 

In addition to the sneak peek, Disney has confirmed that FastPass+ will not be available when this attraction opens, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will not be open during morning Extra Magic Hours at Disney's Hollywood Studios

3. Santa Claus comes to the Magic Kingdom

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, Santa Claus has begun appearing at Town Square Courtyard in the Magic Kingdom from 10:00 AM through 5:00 PM daily through Tuesday, Dec. 24th (Christmas Eve).


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