Let the building resume! A lot has changed since construction on Disney’s Avengers Campus resumed. At the time of writing, both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) are currently closed due to COVID-19. However, it doesn’t mean work on DCA’s newest land cannot continue. Some may even say construction can move even faster with the park currently being closed. Does this mean Disneyland’s Avengers Campus could open earlier than some expect? There’s only one way to find out. Let’s head west to see what what’s happening!
If only the pause was Dr. Strange having some with the time stone. On March 23, 2020, Disneyland closed its doors and stopped all construction. The original plan called for Disneyland’s Avenger Campus to open on July 18, 2020. Needless to say, that date and came and left without the land opening. As we spoke about in our previous article, this “pause” could play a major roll in when we could see the land’s major attraction open.
On May 7, 2020, reports came out that construction on the land had resumed. However, we later found out that the California government only approved essential workers to return to the site. The approval conceded with a major storm heading to the west coast and approving workers to head back to the site to make sure everything was secure to hopefully prevent minimal damage. It wasn’t until June 27, 2020, when we got word that construction officially resumed on Disney’s Avengers Campus. Only a 3rd of the contractors and essentials workers were allowed at the construction site and it was at a limited capacity. Overall, the project was paused for about 3 months.
So, what’s happened in the past two-plus months? We’re glad you asked. Ever since work has resumed on Disneyland’s Avengers Campus it appears to be ramping up at a good clip. Aerial photos from @Bioreconstruct (Twitter) on July 11, 2020, showed a variety of angles and the overall progress. With the big news being the Quinjet arriving onsite and further progress of the Web Slingers attraction queue and entrance area. Additionally, the images highlighted a lot of exterior work on the building that will house the Pim Test Kitchen (quick service), and the Avengers HQ building.
On August 20, 2020, we got our first official look at the Quinjet thanks to the Chairman of Disney Parks, Josh D’Amaro via Instagram. As Josh toured the construction site to check on the land’s progress he snapped a few pics of the newly installed Quinjet atop the Avengers HQ building. What is unique about this Quinjet is the overall design. It is not a copy of the Quinjet from the Avenger movies, it has a few modifications in its wing design. It makes us wonder if it’s a look at a Quinjet we will see in a future Marvel movie. We all know how Disney likes to tie the lands directly to the movies.
Our progress doesn’t end with the Quinjet. Five days later news broke around Disneyland reopening its casting call for stunt performers for the land. Originally, the casting call was opened in March but later paused due to, well, the “pause”. The casting call is for two key roles in the show, Captain America and Black Panther. The stunt show will take place atop the rooftops and around the Avengers HQ. If Disneyland is already starting to look for performers, it must mean the land is close to opening, right?
The Potential Opening Date
While nothing official has been announced around the opening of Disneyland’s Avengers Campus, we have some key pieces that may help us identify a date. First, we know that Disneyland is ready to reopen, as stated by Josh D’Amaro in an interview. All Disney is waiting for the approval to open from the California government. According to Len Testa from Touring Plans, Disney is very hopeful to open Disneyland by the October timeframe. It should be noted that nothing is official and a park opening date is mostly out of the control of Disney and in the hands of the California government. It should be noted Disney has canceled resort reservations at Disneyland through September 26, 2020 (at the time of writing).
With the rumors circling around the October opening date, many believe we could see Disneyland’s Avengers Campus open by the end of October. Or, even the best case with the rest of the park. In the DVC Duo house, we have other ideas around when the land could open. Based on the timing of the casting of the stunt performers it leads us to believe the land is still about four months from opening. It will take time for casting to find the right performers, as well as the performers to learn the show. This would put a potential date closer to December 2020 or even the first quarter of 2021.
Additionally, another piece that could delay the opening is the Web Slingers attraction. The new attraction will rely heavily on a new type of 3D glasses that will connect (digitally) with the ride vehicle to able to capture a riders hand movements (i.e. shooting webs). With this type of advancement in technology, we would expect the ride to have fewer glasses than your typical 3D attraction. Fewer glasses, mean more cleaning. Now, this could all change and Walt Disney Imagineering could already have a solution for the glasses to work in our “new world”.
This is why we’re leaning towards a December 2020 or first quarter 2021, especially since we assume Disney will look to make a splash with the land’s grand opening.
It’s fantastic to see progress being made on Disneyland’s Avengers Campus. There is still a lot of gray area around when the new land will open. Especially, since part of the opening is out of Disney’s control. For now, we’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for more updates and surprise Instagram pics from Josh. Well, it looks like it’s time for us to head back east!
It’s a pink drink! It’s that time again, it’s time for another installment of our Disney at home recipes. In this rendition, we’re sharing our Hollywood Brown Derby Pomegranate Whiskey Sour recipe. This pink twist on a classic cocktail is the ideal drink for those Florida afternoons at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Plus, you’re on vacation, a pink drink is definitely in order. Alright, we got our shakers ready, is yours? Perfect, let’s get to shaking up our Hollywood Brown Derby Pomegranate Whiskey Sour recipe!
Found in the shaded area of Hollywood Blvd is The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge. This first comes first serve lounge is a DVC Duo all-time favorite for an afternoon or early evening adult time-out. Known for its grapefruit cake and cobb salad, The Hollywood Brown Derby is shaking up an array of classic cocktails. From martinis to margaritas, there’s a classic cocktail for everyone in your group. For us, nothing beats grabbing one of the outside high-tops, sitting back with the Hollywood Studios music in the background, and enjoying an appetizer and drink. Well, the time has come, let’s get this shaking underway!
Hollywood Brown Derby Pomegranate Whiskey Sour Recipe
2 oz of Crown Royal Whiskey
1/2 oz of Pomegranate Juice
1/2 oz of Simple Syrup
Splash of Sour Mix
In the DVC Duo house we like to make our own sweet and sour mix. Here is our homemade recipe:
Add 1/2 cup of sugar and a 1/2 cup of water to a saucepan. Bring to boil to dissolve the sugar. Then add 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. Let cool.
Add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 a cup sugar to a saucepan
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes
We’re ready to shake up our drink!
Fill shaker halfway with ice
Add Crown Royal Whiskey
Add Pomegranate Juide
Add Simple Syrup
Add Sour Mix
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Serve in a tumbler with a large cube
Variety is the spice of life. When it comes to making cocktails we like to mix it up from time to time. Feel free to make substitutions and adjustments where you see fit.
Replace Crown Royal Whiskey with your favorite whiskey
Use a pre-maid sour mix
This is a drink best enjoyed while eating a slider and cobb salad on a patio.
Oh, the pun! We’re not going to lie, we really like this one. Could skippering a Jungle Cruise boat be in our future? With puns like this how can not? It will all make sense in a minute, trust us. Anyways, you’re not here for puns, you’re more than likely here to learn more about Project Nugget. When word came out on August 10, 2020, about a new permit Disney World filed called Project Nugget, everyone wondered what it could be. From potential work on Big Thunder Mountainto a new fireworks show, rumors were all the board. To make it simple, it’s almost certainly a fireworks show. Now you get the pun, pretty good right? Bang, firework, ah-ha! But, could there be more to it? That’s what we’re here to talk about. The door is a knocking, let’s see what’s behind it!
What makes the Project Nugget permit different than the average Disney World permit is the naming convention. Most Disney World permits for projects usually are simple, like Project “A” or another letter. This leads most to believe that this permit is for a larger project that’s associated with the Magic Kingdom. Additionally, it’s assumed it’s fireworks-related as the address on the permit is the fireworks station behind the park.
The permit itself doesn’t provide a lot of details beyond electrical work, materials, and labor. Pretty standard things. It’s the name that is giving the rumor all its momentum.
Why A Fireworks Show?
Disney World is just over a year away from its 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2021. In true Disney fashion to celebrate the monumental occasion, a new nighttime spectacular is a must. Say hello to Project Nugget. It may or may not be known that the current nighttime show, Happily Ever After, was suppose to be a temporary show. However, it become a huge success and Disney World filed away its replacement for a rainy day. Whether or not Project Nugget will be this show is currently unknown.
What we do know is the new show is only supposed to run for the duration of the 50th Anniversary. About 15 months. Whether or not that holds true, time will tell. Similar to Happily Ever After, it will all depend on guest satisfaction.
How Big Is the Project?
That’s the big question. Right now, Happily Ever After centers around the castle, whereas the previous show could be enjoyed throughout the park. We’re looking at you, Wishes! The majority of Happily Ever After involves projections on the castle to help tell the overarching story. Well, that may not be the best thing going forward.
We love the castle projection shows! However, when everything changing due to COVID-19, having the majority of park guests pack into a small area in front of the castle may not be the best idea. This leads us to believe that Project Nugget will more than likely not center around the castle, especially since we still don’t fully know what the world will look like in 2021. At the time of writing, nothing has been announced by Disney around Project Nugget.
In the DVC Duo house, we believe the new show could still involve both projections and fireworks. Remember when Disney was 3D mapping the parks prior to their reopening? If not, definitely check out our article, as it could definitely relate to Project Nugget. One of the ways Disney Imagineering could use the 3D mapping is for both projections on other areas of the park, say Main Street USA, as well as vantage points for a new fireworks show. Projection mapping on Main Street USA is nothing new, as Disney does this today at Disneyland. However, maybe they extend that to other areas of the park to allow guests to spread out for the show. Disney could then designate different areas around the park for viewing and help with the necessary social distancing. For example, the back of the castle or Space Mountain. Additionally, each area could have a similar but different projection show, increasing the rewatchability of the spectacular.
This should be treated as just blue sky ideas as we’re looking to connect the dots. However, if we’re right, you heard it hear first!
This is a very good thing! As we spoke about in a previous article, one of the top items on Disney’s list to bring back to the parks is the nighttime spectaculars. This was confirmed when word came out of fireworks returning to Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea on September 1, 2020. These are the first two parks with fireworks since March 2020. We should continue to find out more in the coming months, as Disney will more than likely need to more permits associated with Project Nugget. Until then, we’ll keep an eye peeled for more guests banging on the door!
All drinks taste better in a cantina! We’re back with our next rendition of our Disney at home recipes. Today we’re blasting off to a galaxy far, far, a way to share our T-16 Skyhopper Recipe from Oga’s Cantina. Bright green in color, this refreshing tropical take on a White Russian is the perfect way to celebrate a successful Kessel Run. Or, surviving the grocery store. This is a recipe for home after all. Alright, the smugglers are waiting, gab those cocktail shakers as it’s time to make our T-16 Skyhopper recipe!
Found at a hole in the wall watering hole on Batuu, Oga’s Cantina is where all the smugglers, bounty hunters, and rogue traveler unwind. Why you may ask because it has a strict no questions asked policy. Sounds like our type of place! Oga’s Cantina is quickly being a must-stop place for us on all our Disney trips. What can say, DJ-R3X knows how to get the party started! This is the one lounge at Disney World that requires an ADR. We highly recommend trying to make a reservation as soon as your time opens up. Alright, we’ve kept everyone waiting long enough let’s make getting to shaking!
T-16 Skyhopper Recipe
1 1/2 oz of Vodka
1 1/2 oz of heavy cream
1 1/2 oz of Kiwi simple syrup
2 fresh peeled Kiwis
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup of sugar
3/4 oz of Midori
Directions – Kiwi Simple Syrup
Peel and half two kiwis
Puree the kiwis
Add 1/4 of water, 1/4 of sugar, and kiwi puree to a saucepan
Bring to a boil
Boil to thicken (about 5 mins)
Directions – T-16 Skywalker
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice
Add kiwi simple syrup
Add heavy cream
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Serve over ice
There is more than one way to shake up our T-16 Skyhopper recipe. Feel free to make substitutions and adjustments where you see fit.
Use your favorite vodka of choice
Replace heavy cream with half and half (lighter version)
Replace heavy cream with non-dairy creamer
This is a drink best enjoyed surround by a lively crowd, preferably smugglers and other scoundrels. For us, otherwise known as our close friends!
DVC villas? We thought the saying goes, What About Bob? Pat yourself on the back if you got the 1990’s movie reference. Anyways, we’re not here to talk about great to 90’s movies, we’re here to talk about the Polynesian Resort refurb. In what could only be described as an out of left field announcement, we found out on August 31, 2020, that Moana will be setting up shop at the resort. This is the second major Moana inspired addition coming to Walt Disney World, with the other one being part of Epcot’s new World Nature neighborhood. Or, as we like to say in the DVC Duo house, Disney is doubling down on the Polynesia princess. The big question for all DVC members is, how will this impact the Polynesian Resort Villas? Grab your boards, it’s time to ride the Polynesian Resort refurb wave!
All Disney refurbishments have a scope. Some are major overhauls like the rethemeing of The Great Movie Ride to the now open Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, and some smaller for example the Beach Resort Marketplace update. When it comes to the Polynesian Resort refurb, it’s looking like a middle of the road update. What we know at the time of writing is there will be two key areas addressed, the rooms and the Great Ceremonial House (otherwise known as the Poly lobby).
The room updates will center around a brighter color-palette drawing inspiration from the Pacific Ocean and the movie Moana. We already have an early glimpse into what expect thanks to Blog Mickey discovering a few changes to the carpet outside ‘Ohana. Immediately, we see the potential shift in the overall color scheme to include more shades of blue and turquoise compared to the original.
The Polynesian Resort refurb is already underway and will run until the summer of 2021. Disney has stated they will be releasing concept art for the rooms in due time. But, wait. What about the DVC villas?
The Polynesian Resort is made up of two areas, the standard resort, and Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villas. When Walt Disney World reopened only the villas portion of the Polynesian Resort opened. The rest of the hotel remains closed, with the original plans stating the rest of the resort would reopen in August. Later that was updated to November 2020, and with the announcement around the Polynesian Resort refurb, it moves the date to the summer of 2021.
Does the mean the DVC villas will be closing? No, not at all. When it comes to the DVC villas there are a couple of things to keep in mind. The first is how refurbishment works as it relates to DVC resorts. All refurbishments of the resorts are funded by the resort’s annual membership dues from the members and are on a set schedule. The schedule is broken down into two categories, refresh, and refurb. A refresh usually consists of a soft goods upgrade like bedding, carpets, and curtains. A refurbishment would be a full replacement of everything from floors to new furniture.
Based on DVC contracts a refresh usually happens in the first seven years of the resort being open and a refurb being closer 15 to 20-year mark. Right now the DVC resort refurbishment schedule has Saratoga Springs being updated. When it comes to the DVC villas at Polynesian Resort they are not slated for refresh until 2022 as confirmed at the last DVC condo meeting. What we’re not sure about is whether or not Disney will look to move up the refresh on the DVC villas as part of the overall Polynesian Resort refurb. It should be noted when Disney does a DVC refresh, they do not close the resort, instead they do a small portion of rooms at a time.
What To Expect
A quiet resort. Traditionally, the Polynesian Resort is full of energy and people. With the main resort, not opening, we’re expecting a much quieter resort in the short term. However, with a quieter comes a few changes. The big change will be the monorail. Starting in October of 2020, the monorail will no longer stop at the Polynesian Resort and instead, Disney will offer bus transportation to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot from the resort. It should be noted at this time there are no boats to the Magic Kingdom from the resort.
There are a couple of alternatives to the using Magic Kingdom bus. From the Polynesian Resort, it is a short walk to the Transportation and Ticket Center where you can pick up either the ferry boat or express monorail to the Magic Kingdom. Speaking of walking, in the DVC Duo house we’re projecting the walkway to the Magic Kingdom will also be open by October to coincide with the closure of the Polynesian monorail stop.
Got our attention! The announcement of the Polynesian Resort refurb is something we did not expect by any means. It will be interesting to see how Disney integrates Moana into the resort. If it’s anything like the carpet sample, then it should be a more subtle nod to the movie. It also makes us wonder if we could Moana incorporated into the luau either in both showings or just the earlier showing. This would be similar to when luau had Mickey as part of the first show and the more traditional luau as the late offering. Well, it looks like we’re approaching the beach, time to jump off our boards!