Can you ever have too much mermaid? That is the very question we’re asking today. The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been a staple of the park since 1992. Three years after Ariel swam into our hearts, Disney brought the live-action show to the area formerly known as Animation Courtyard at Hollywood Studios. Combining live actors, puppets, and an array of special effects, the show retold the story of the animated classic. Fast-forward twenty-eight years the question comes will The Voyage of the Mermaid show exit stage-left?
For years, rumors circled around The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show making way for something “new”. We’ve heard everything from it being the potential location of the interchangeable ride concept to part of a potential Pixar Land. The rumor started poping again in April 2020 when it was reported Disney was taking pictures of the show props to catalog everything for the archives. When the show did not reopen with the rest of Hollywood Studios in July of 2020 it just furthered the rumor.
By fall The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show billboard was removed from the building. All signs pointed to a change ahead. Well, at least for a few days. Less than a week later, a new billboard was installed and it raised the question of whether or not the show would return on a future date. What changed?
The Potential Change
Live-action. For the past decade-plus, Disney has been making its way through its catalog of animated movies to remake them as “live-action”. Which movie is next on the filming docket? Drumroll please, The Little Mermaid. As of writing, the movie is in pre-production with filming scheduled to start December 2020 in London. From our understanding, the film crew is already on set and ready to begin. It’s unknown when the movie will be released to theaters, especially, with all the shifting of release dates due to COVID.
With an all-star cast, the movie is a buzz. Rumors around the film have been popping up at a feverish rate. This could be an indication of how the movie could do in theaters. It may follow in the footsteps of the live-action Lion King and be a billion-dollar earner.
What It Could Mean
Return of the mermaid? That very well may be the case. According to Jim Hill, of Jim Hill Media, the idea around updating The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show to reflect the live-action version is under consideration. A lot, if not everything, could hinge on the overall success of the movie, as well as the soundtrack. With R&B singer Halle Bailey set to play Ariel, we could see a soundtrack on par with the likes of Frozen. It would be hard for Disney to ignore that type of success, especially, at the parks.
To further the idea of an updated version of The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show is the current state of Disney. As the company looks to rebound from the financial impact of COVID it would be easier to update the show over building a new attraction or land. While the long-term plans may have the show making way for a larger concept, there could be a short-term win with an updated show. It’s well-known that Hollywood Studios would benefit from more shows to help alleviate the long lines of the headline attractions. Based on the overall success of A Frozen Singalong, Disney could do a similar concept with The Little Mermaid.
Most importantly, if live-action Little Mermaid is a success it would make the movie a multi-generationally fan favorite. As the parents of the current generation of little ones also grew up singing along with Ariel. Even more reason for more mermaid.
The time has come. For what? That’s what we’ll have to wait to find out. Doing a quick review of Disney’s release schedule, there’s a slot for a live-action movie premiere on November 19, 2021. Whether or not it’s for the Little Mermaid is unknown. It may have to be used for the live-action version of Cruella, starring Emma Stone. A lot will depend on how Disney handles theatrical releases in 2021. Ultimately, there are many moving parts as it relates to The Voyage of the Little Mermaid show. We would be excited to at least see an updated version in the near term. All we know is once the movie has its day in the sun, we should have a better idea of what to expect.
Now, this is our kinda apple! It’s the fall drink that can be enjoyed throughout the year. We’re back with another installment of our Disney at home recipes. On today’s adventure, we’re sharing our Ottawa Apple recipe from Le Cellier in Epcot’s Canada Pavilion. Le Cellier is known for its perfectly cooked steaks and its delicious sides, oh that mac ‘n cheese, it is also serving up so noteworthy cocktails. Say hello to the Ottawa Apple. Alright, the time has come, grab your favorite cocktail shaker as it’s time to whip up our Le Cellier Ottawa Apple recipe!
It’s a cocktail of multiple locations! While the original location is Le Cellier, in recent years the drink has made its way to the Canadian Pavilion popcorn cart. A popcorn you can easily find, just follow your nose to the smell of maple goodness. For us, you cannot go wrong with any of the special popcorn options around Epcot, the maple popcorn included! There’s no better way to kick-off a trip around the world than heading right towards the Canada Pavilion, ordering up your Ottawa Apple with a side maple popcorn. We like to bring our towards the lagoon to take in the views, but you could also meander around the beautiful flower garden in front of Le Cellier. Alright, talk about the location, check! Now let’s get to the shaking!
Le Cellier Ottawa Apple Recipe
3 oz of Crown Royal Maple Finished Canadian Whiskey
1/2 oz of Crisp Apple Real Infused Syrup
3 oz of Cranberry Juice
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice
Add Crown Royal Maple Finished Canadian Whiskey
Add Cranberry Juice
Add Crisp Apple Real Infused Syrup
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Serve over ice
Drawing inspiration from our cocktail and how there’s more than one great location for it. There’s more than one way to make our Le Cellier Ottawa Apple recipe. Feel free to make substitutions and adjustments where you see fit.
Replace Crown Royal Maple Finished Canadian Whiskey with your favorite whiskey. (We like Bullet)
If you replace the whiskey with a non-maple flavored whiskey, add a splash of real maple syrup to the shaker.
This is a cocktail best enjoyed while eating a perfectly cooked wood-fired steak or a bowl of your favorite flavored popcorn!
October 1, 2021. Or, otherwise known as the 50th anniversary for Walt Disney World. It’s the day every Disneyphile would love to be in the Magic Kingdom. For Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members with annual passes making a park passreservation is a little more complex. Or, is it? Recently, we learned more information on how Disney is handling DVC annual pass renewals, as it relates to the monumental celebration. It’s not every day the park turns the big 5-0! Without any further adieu let’s dive into it!
Every story has a backdrop and the backdrop to our DVC annual pass renewals for the 50th anniversary is the new Park Pass Reservation System. On October 15, 2020, the booking window for vacation packages and making Walt Disney World Park Pass reservation opened through the end of 2021. In doing so, guests for the first time are able to make park reservations for trips that included the 50th Anniversary. Previously, guests were only able to make reservations through September 28, 2021. Disney vacation packages include park tickets which is one of the requirements for making a park reservation.
This created some concern for DVC members with annual passes up for renewal prior to October 202. Traditionally, Walt Disney World annual passes cannot be renewed until 60 days prior to the expiration date. In the DVC Duo, this is the situation we faced. Our annual passes, with the closure extension, expire in August 2021. So, how do we make theme park reservations for the Magic Kingdom for the 50th Anniversary?
To the phones! In looking for an answer we did what every seasoned DVC member does, call Member Services. Member Services is the booking/help desk for questions around DVC and Disney as a whole. Or, as we like to say, our best Disney friend. Here is what we learned.
According to Member Services here is what we learned regarding DVC annual pass renewals as it relates to passes that expire prior to the 50th anniversary. DVC members who made reservations with points for a trip that includes October 1, 2020, are able to renew their annual passes early. We can confirm this is true, as we were able to renew our passes early. Here are the steps we took.
Booked a room on DVC points via the reservation site. (or by calling)
Call Member Services
Follow the prompts for booking a room at Walt Disney World
Provide your reservation number
Ask about extending your annual pass to include this trip
Overall, the process worked flawlessly for us. The best part is your cost will be associated to the 2020 renewal price, as the 2021 renewal price has not been released. The cast member we spoke was unsure when the pricing for annual pass renewal would be available or if the price would be changing in either direction.
Happy dance! It was great to find out that DVC had already prepared for handling DVC annual pass renewals, as it relates to the 50th anniversary. For us, it was a big stress reliever, as we were not sure if park pass reservations would be available when our passes were set to renew. Time to start the planning!
Tis the season to be hopefully? It doesn’t have quite the same ring, but when we’re talking about a HarmonioUS Christmas show it just fits. As you know, we’ve been tracking the progress of Epcot’s new nighttime spectacular for some time. With our latest update looking at the progress of the new barges. A common theme among all of our most recent articles is around Disney’s desire to bring back a nighttime spectacular to Epcot as soon as possible. Could this mean we’ll have a HarmonioUS Christmas show after all? Let’s head out to World Showcase Lagoon to see what’s happening!
Or should we say quasi rumor? Let’s be honest all rumors have some level of truth to them. Just some have more truth than others. As the rumor goes, Disney has been working around the clock on HarmonioUS because they have a target date in mind. That date, the last two weeks of December 2020. Or, otherwise known as the holiday season. With the new Park Reservation System Disney is better able to predict crowds levels well in advance. So much so, they have been extending park hours on busier days.
We’re still five weeks from the “holiday season” and Disney has already extended park hours for Epcot to 10 am to 9 pm. By far the longest Epcot will be open since pandemic related closure in March 2020. But it raises the question of why. Why would Disney keep Epcot open until 9 pm when the park has been mostly empty after 7 pm?
All signs are pointing at the potential of a Harmonious Christmas show. This would more than likely not be the full HarmonioUS production, but instead some type of night time entertainment. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, Disney executives after pushing to have some level of a show ready for the holiday season. It could be as simple as the centerpiece barge displaying some Christmas elements with a few fireworks or a more elaborate production. A lot will depend on the overall construction progress, as Disney does not want to rush out the full show if it’s not ready…like they did with Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
But, it still raises the question of why? Why would Disney push for a two-week holiday show?
Connecting The Dots
Before we connect the dots, we have to look at the bigger picture. Similar to how Disney World used the wait and see approach for reopening, by letting Universal Orlando reopen a month plus in advance. We’re seeing a similar trend with nighttime shows. On October 26, 2020, Cinematic Celebration returned to Universal Studios Orlando for the first time. With physically distanced markings around the lagoon, the show went off without any issues. So much so, Universal has scheduled additionally showings on select nights. Additionally, Universal is bringing back the holiday nighttime show on Hogwarts Castle over in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
This leads us to believe that Disney is looking to follow suit with Epcot. Similar to Cinematic Celebration, a Epcot nighttime specular would take place around a large lagoon and have adequate space for physical distancing. Especially, with current crowd levels.
Ok, back to our dot-connecting. Debuting a HarmonoiUS Christmas inspired show would do more than just bring back a nighttime show to Epcot, it opens up a variety of revenue streams for the park. First and foremost, it would give guests a greater reason to stay at Epcot later into the evening, all while enjoying food, drink, and shopping. Epcot would once again be a “full-day” park, especially during the Future World construction. Additionally, it’s well-known that the restaurants around Epcot’s World Showcase thrive when the park has nighttime events, whether it’s the different festival shows or just a nighttime spectacular. The restaurants thrive due to very popular dining packages Disney offers to coincide with the shows. Which leads us to our dot. It opens the door for Disney to bring back different popular ticketed events like a modified Dessert Party (physically distanced of course) and/or Dining Packages, with reserved seating for the show.
A lot of moving parts. For us to see a HarmonoiUS Christmas nighttime specular a lot of things have to continue to go down the right path. The truth of our rumor is Disney’s desire to debut some type of nighttime spectacular at Epcot sooner than later. Will it be in time for the holiday season? That’s the big unknown and why this should be treated as a rumor. We’re hopeful we’ll see fireworks return to Disney in time for the holidays, but only time will tell. This will be one of the many things on our Disney Christmas list!
Packs a punch! In more ways than one, but we’ll get to that in a moment. That’s right, we’re are back with another rendition of our Disney at home recipes! What great concoction are we mixing up today? Well, the title probably gave it away, but we still enjoy the theatrics. So, drumroll, please! Today’s we’re shaking up our Himalayan Ghost recipe from Thirsty River Bar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Needless to say but this one ghost worth meeting! Grab your ice and cocktail shakers it’s time to make our Himalayan Ghost recipe!
But first, every ghost needs a story, right? Ghost. Story. Yeah, we went there. It was low hanging fruit, what can we say. Anyways, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is full of great cocktails options from always lively Dawa Bar to the perfectly poured cocktails at Nomad Lounge, there’s a solid choice around every corner. One of the less talked about locations is the Thirsty River Bar in the foothills of Expedition Everest. Whether you’re looking for a little liquid courage or something to calm your nerves after coming face to face with Yeti, they got something for you. One of the most refreshingly potent drinks (hence the packs a punch) is the Himalayan Ghost. Simply put it’s an adult lemonade turned up a notch or two!
Himalayan Ghost Recipe
3 oz of Snow Leopard Vodka
2 oz of Guava Juice
3 oz of Odwalla Lemonade
Slice of Lemon
Fill cocktail shake halfway with ice
Add Snow Leopard Vodka
Add Guava Juice
Add Odwalla Lemonade
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Serve with the ice
Slice of lemon to garnish
There’s more than one to make this drink. Here are a few of our variations, free to make adjustments and substitutions where ever you see fit.
Replace Snow Leopard Vodka with you favorite (we prefer Grey Goose)
Replace Odwalla Lemonade with your favorite
Adjust the amount of Vodka to taste
For this cocktail we recommend enjoying it in the foothills of your favorite mountain or favorite Disney mountain!