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DISNEY NEWS UPDATE

MyMagic+ Reaches a Milestone – 10 million MagicBands!

The MyMagic+ guest experience has hit a milestone: 10 million MagicBands have tapped their way into the parks and hotels, attractions, shops, parades and shows of Walt Disney World Resort.

Since its debut, the colorful and innovative MagicBand has placed guests’ vacation choices right on their wrist. The MagicBand is the key to unlocking the magic of Disney, connecting guests to all the vacation choices they make – serving as their resort room key, park admission, access to FastPass+ selections, PhotoPass photos and — for guests of Walt Disney World resort hotels – optional payment method for food and merchandise purchases.

The MagicBand helps guests customize their visit to Walt Disney World Resort, creating a vacation that is uniquely theirs. Guests can create and customize their MagicBands before leaving home when they book their Walt Disney World vacation on MyDisneyExperience.com

MagicBands are not only a hit with Disney guests. The MagicBand was singled out among the “26 Coolest Gadgets of 2014” by Fortune Magazine. Fast Company awarded MyMagic+ a coveted “Innovation by Design” honor in 2014.

Contactless payments now accepted at many Disney-operated locations

As part of the ongoing efforts to improve the guest experience, a new form of electronic payment is now being accepted at many Disney-operated merchandise, quick-service food and beverage, outdoor vending, spa and recreation, as well as ticket sales locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort using stationary touch-to-pay devices (stations also used for payments made with MagicBands).

Known as contactless payment, this new form of electronic payment is most commonly associated with mobile apps including Apple Pay, Google Wallet or Softcard, as well as Near Field Communication-enabled (NFC) credit cards. Purchases using contactless payment are made by holding a mobile device or NFC-enabled credit card near the touch point (Mickey head) on stationary touch-to-pay devices.

Contactless payments are planned to be accepted at additional locations throughout Walt Disney World Resort in the future.

New Character Dinner Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom March 2015

Beginning March 8, 2015, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and their friends will welcome guests for a fun-filled character dinner at Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. “Donald’s Safari Dinner” will offer guests the opportunity to meet some of their favorite characters, including Donald and Daisy* while enjoying a delicious selection of all-you-care-to-enjoy spit-roasted carved meats, unique salads, creative vegetarian offerings, hearty stews, and delicious desserts – all with an African touch.

Guests can make reservations by calling 407-WDW-DINE (3463) or by visiting Guest Relations at any of the Disney theme parks or a Guest Services/Concierge desk at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel. “Donald’s Safari Dinner” at Tusker House Restaurant will be offered beginning at 4 p.m. daily. In addition to the new character dinner, Tusker House Restaurant will continue to feature Disney characters at breakfast and lunch.

*Characters are subject to change.

Cítricos Welcomes Princesses For Breakfast and Brunch at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Beginning Jan. 8, 2015, Disney princesses will welcome guests to Cítricos at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa while Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom Park gets a refresh. Reservations are

Cinderella will greet guests as they arrive, and the Disney princesses will visit each table for photos and autographs during the dining experience.  Diners also can participate in an interactive “Magical Wishing Ceremony” with Cinderella and the Disney Princesses, with “wishing wands” and “wishing swords” for little ones.

Breakfast and brunch hours are 8 a.m.-2:20 p.m., and cost is $49.99; $31.99 ages 3-9. The experience is on the Disney Dining Plan (2 entitlements). For reservations call 407-WDW-DINE. Online reservations and information will be available at a later date.  Cinderella’s Royal Table is expected to reopen in March, 2015.

Dates Announced for 2015 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Epcot International Food & Wine Festival launches Sept. 25 and runs through Nov. 16 this year – 53 days of sweet and savory tapas-sized dishes and beverages, plus tasting seminars, culinary demos, signature dining experiences, live entertainment and more.

- See more at: http://wdwnews.com/releases/2013/12/02/newsbriefs-from-around-our-world/#sthash.8bwuNyIb.dpuf

AVATAR AND DISNEY

The creative, collaborative process continues on a multi-year project as Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings to life Pandora, based on the blockbuster film  recently welcomed acclaimed director James Cameron to offices in Glendale, Calif. for a status report.. Disney’s creative teams collaborating with the artists and designers at Lightstorm are focused on all the land’s iconic elements — from the magnificent floating mountains to the interactive bioluminescent forest, and even to the soaring banshees. The AVATAR-inspired land will be part of the largest expansion in Disney’s Animal Kingdom history at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.(Concept art, Walt Disney Imagineering) - See more at: http://wdwnews.com/photos/2015/02/26/latest-rendering-released-as-disney-continues-design-work-on-the-world-of-avatar-2/#sthash.vplG70Ki.dpuf

Universal Orlando Resort Reveals Never-Before-Released Details About The Magical Journey Guests Will Experience Aboard The Hogwarts Express

ALL ABOARD!

 

Universal Creating First-Ever Experience that Will Allow Guests to Actually Ride the Iconic Train Between London and Hogsmeade – Just Like in the Books and Films


ORLANDO, Fla. (March 14, 2014)
 – One of the most memorable and exciting experiences from the Harry Potter series will come to life at Universal Orlando Resort this summer.  Imagine:

 

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Since the very first Harry Potter film, every fan has dreamed of taking the same classic journey Harry Potter did aboard the Hogwarts Express.  And this summer – they will get to live it. 

 

Today, Universal Orlando revealed never-before-released details about the Hogwarts Express experience that will debut as part of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley – the all-new, magnificently themed land opening this summer.  The train will connect the new land in Universal Studios Florida with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure – allowing guests with park-to-park admission to enjoy a real journey aboard the iconic locomotive.

 

Never before has this been done – creating an actual train ride experience to connect two spectacularly themed environments.  The Hogwarts Express experience combines powerful storytelling, live special effects, lifelike animation and state-of-the-art technology to take riders on the journey of a lifetime.   Guests will enjoy two completely different experiences depending on whether they’re traveling to Hogsmeade or London.  

 

Once seated in the cabin, guests will be able to look out their windows as an incredibly authentic and magical adventure unfolds before them.  They’ll see Hagrid come alongside the train on his flying motorbike, Buckbeak the Hippogriff swoop gracefully over the black lake, the Weasley twins on brooms and up to their usual antics, the Knight Bus swerving through London traffic – and other special moments and surprises.

 

Universal’s Creative team has been working closely with Warner Bros., Stuart Craig and the production team from the Harry Potter films to create a sensational Hogwarts Express experience that the entire family can enjoy.  The Creative team has gone to great lengths to ensure the experience is true to the books and films.  Everything about the train is authentic – from the paint and the materials used to build it….all the way down to the whistle.

 

Park-to-park admission is required to experience the Hogwarts Express journey from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley (located in Universal Studios Florida) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade (located in Universal’s Islands of Adventure).  For more information about the Hogwarts Express – including a new video that features a first-look at the ride experience – and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, visitwww.universalorlando.com/harrypotter. 

About the Harry Potter Series 
Harry Potter continues to be a global phenomenon. Each of the seven books by author J.K. Rowling has broken sales records, with the series to date having sold over 450 million copies worldwide and translated into 77 languages.  The Harry Potter films, produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, have grossed more than $7.7 billion to date worldwide at the box office, making Harry Potter the largest-grossing film franchise in history.