Mail? We like mail! Could our mail get a little more interesting with a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box? More and more things are moving towards subscription-style services, from tv with Disney+, to our technology with iPhones, rumblings have begun around a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box coming soon. Slip-on your shoes we’re heading out to the mailbox to see if we got mail!
Everything has an origin or at least needs an origin story. Much like our favorite Marvel characters, our Disney 50th anniversary subscription box rumor has an origin story as well. Walt Disney World is well-known for its guest surveys, as they are used on most everything. From evaluating guest satisfaction to gaining insight for new projects and everything in between Disney uses the surveys to help make decisions.
The surveys are also the source of many of the rumors like the addition of DVC boutique resorts and changes to the Imagination Pavilion. Once again the surveys are the source of the latest rumor around a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box.
Passholder Insights: Almost everything in Walt Disney World has a backstory. One of the most interesting backstories is in Dinoland USA.
What Was Asked?
In a recent survey, Walt Disney World started asking guests around their buying habits as it related to subscription-style services. Questions ranged from do you subscribe to a monthly “gift” box to how frequently you receive it and even the price range you pay. The questions were very direct and clear around what Disney was looking to gather in regards to information.
Passholder Insights: When walking around the parks if you see cast members with tablets and white button shirts that say Disney Research, these are the cast members would issue the surveys.
What It Could Be?
Umm….a Disney 50th anniversary subscription box? Well, yes. The big question is what would Disney include this type of service. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the Disney subscription could be centered around merchandise related to the 50th anniversary.
With Walt Disney World gearing up for its biggest celebration yet, it’s expected many guests will head to parks. Additionally, it’s expected many guests may not be able to make it to the parks but still want to partake in the celebration. This is where the Disney subscription box could fit in nicely. Walt Disney World could use the service to move merchandise related to the celebration away from their Character Warehouse (outlet) and direct to fans.
This is still a very early stage rumor, with Disney still gathering information around the overall demand for this type of service.
Passholder Insights: Christmas shopping is celebrated all year at Walt Disney World if you’re looking for a Christmas item check out these shops.
It’s peaking our interest. For us, the big questions would be, what’s included? And, how much would it cost? We love Disney related items and our home has tons of Disney related items spread throughout. However, our concern would be around getting items that may not be an item we would have purchased ourselves. If it includes limited edition 50th anniversary merch, count us in!
We’ll bring the snacks! Every great sleepover needs snacks, right? There are no better snacks than classic Disney snacks. Rumors around a new Epcot resort recently resurfaced and it got us thinking, could we see a new Epcot resort in the coming years? Let’s slip into our pajamas and gather around for a bedtime story, some many say a tail as old as time. Right, Beast?
There’s no better place to start than at the beginning. The idea around a new Epcot resort has been floating around for a while, with a variety of sources making mention of it. The greatest traction came in the months leading up to the 2017 D23 expo as part of the overall update to the Future World section of Epcot.
It’s well known that the Bob’s (Chapek and Iger) are both in favor of finding a way to add a resort to one of the Walt Disney World parks. Similar to the MiraCosta at DisneySea, the Disneyland Resort in Paris, and Grand California at Disney’s California Adventure. All of these resorts have direct access to a Disney park from the resort. Each of these resorts are viewed as extensions to the respective parks and offers rooms with direct views into the park.
Passholder Insights: The closest option Disney World will have to a resort with direct park access will be the new Star Wars resortwhen it opens.
Where Could It Go?
Epcot. Well, yes, of course, Epcot as the article title suggests. The question is really where around the park could a new Epcot resort go? There are two potential locations with first being right at the park’s main entrance. By combining the entrance and the monorail station, rumor has it a resort in this style that would create a similar experience as the MiraCosta in Tokyo. A new Epcot resort located at the main entrance would enhance the reveal of Spaceship Earth when guests enter the park.
The second potential location the rumors suggest is between The Land and The Seas pavilion, just outside the park. If a new Epcot resort we’re in this location it would be possible for another entrance to the park. This would be similar to Grand Californian with its entrance across from Grizzly Run at Disney’s California Adventure.
Passholder Insights: The area where The Land and The Seas pavilions are located is being transformed into World Nature.
On the weekend of November 2, 2019, rumors around a new Epcot resort resurfaced in a big way. Pictures of a weather balloon (height test balloon) spread through social media like wildfire, with many believing the balloon was being used for marking the location of a potential resort. The weather balloon could be seen for the entrance area of Epcot. Disney World traditionally uses weather balloons to get a rough idea of what the sightlines could be if a new building is added.
Passholder Insights: Construction of a new park entrance is well underway and could be completed in the first half of 2020.
Is It True?
That’s the big question. It turns out that the weather balloon was being used for the runDisney event, the Wine and Dine half-marathon to mark where guests would pick up rideshare vehicles after the race. Additionally, a lot of the green space around Epcot is marked as unbuildable by the Reedy Creek Development Department, due to is being marshland.
The addition of a new Epcot resort would be great to see. At the moment there is nothing on the horizon. If a new resort were to be added to the park, it would be a later phase of updates. With it estimated that phase two is already in the works, which includes the Imagination Pavilion, it is possible a new Epcot resort could be part of it. For now, we will more than likely have to wait until after the 50th anniversary to hear anything from Disney World. Alright, time for bed. Who needs a glass of water?
Yes, we made that joke! How could we not make a pinning joke? Especially, when we’re gearing up to talk about the Play Disney Parks pins. Pin trading and pin collecting has been a hit at the parks since the millennium switch over. Over the past year, Disney World has created new ways for Disney pin fans to collect exclusive Play Disney Parks pins. Let’s bust out our smartphones, it’s time to earn our digital achievements!
What’s Play Disney Parks?
There’s an app for that! In the following article, we go in-depth about the Play Disney Parks app and how everything works. Feel free to give it the once over. We can wait. Alright, great article huh? Now that we have a solid baseline, let’s dive into the Play Disney Parks Pins!
Passholder Insights: WiFi is available in the parks. In our experience the app uses a lot of data, we recommend using the WiFi when you can.
Success equals expansion, and this holds true with the Play Disney Parks pins. On October 17, 2019, the Disney Parks Blog announced the expansion of the program to new attractions across all the Walt Disney World parks (as well as, Disneyland). The expansion includes new digital achievements earned through the Play Disney Parks app. With selection attractions offering the Play Disney Parks pins. At Walt Disney World there is a new Expedition Everest Yeti pin and the Festival of the Lion King pin. For a full list of the attractions receiving new achievements check out the following link.
Passholder Insights: For using the Play Disney Parks app at Walt Disney World, we recommend downloading the app prior to your trip.
There’s only one way to get these pins! You’ve got to earn them. Within the Play Disney Parks app you earn digital achievements for completing and using the app within the lines queue. Can you say a get way to pass the time!
Over time you’ll earn enough digital achievements to qualify for the Play Disney Parks pins associated with the attraction. You’ll get a notification letting you know where to go if you would like to purchase the pin. Each pin costs on average $14.99 plus tax. On the bottom of each there’s wording that says “PLAY” to denote it’s one of the Play Disney Parks pins.
It’s becoming more and more apparent the Play Disney Parks app is a big piece of Disney’s interactive queue strategy. What we really like about the Play Disney Parks app is how Disney can easily make updates and expand upon it. Add on the pins and we’ve got a successful program. The thing left to figure out is which pin to get first. Who are we kidding, we’re off on an expedition!
Hidden in plain sight! Could Walt Disney World be hiding references at what’s to come within the Epcot Experience? After taking a careful look at the new show in the Odyssey Pavilion we’ve got a couple of ideas around what’s on the horizon for Epcot. Let’s take a careful look at the Epcot Experience and see if we can read between lines!
On the edge of Future World and the World Showcase is a building situated between Test Track and Mexico known as the Odyssey Pavilion. On October 1, 2019, the pavilion reopened with the Epcot Experience, which expands on the D23 announcementsfrom August. The centerpiece is a movie in the round presentation of the future enhancements to the park. In the center of the room is an abstract model of Epcot.
Passholder Insights: Once complete the Odyssey Pavilion will be part of the World Celebration neighborhood.
Coco Coming Home?
Coco could have a larger presence in the Mexico Pavilion. The addition of Disney Intellectual Properties (IP) to the World Showcase is definitely growing. With Frozen Ever After in Norway, and RatatouilleandBeauty and theBeastcoming to the France Pavilion and Mary Poppins announced at D23 for the UK Pavilion, it would make sense for to see Coco in the Mexico Pavilion.
At Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival, Coco was added to the Mariachi Cobre performances and remained through October 2019. The addition was wildly successful. So much so, Disney World brought back Coco for the Day of the Dead celebration. In the Epcot Experience, Coco has a strong presence, as his guitar is resting against the Mayan Temple. We believe Coco will become a permit fixture in the pavilion as part of the Mariachi Cobre or another show, with a potential of a standalone attraction. There is one requirement for the attraction and that is the addition of a Brazil Pavilion. If a Brazil Pavilion is added then the Three Caballeros could move to the new pavilion making way for a Coco attraction.
Passholder Insights: Our favorite place to order up a margarita at Epcot is inside the Mayan Temple at La Cava del Tequila.
Let’s Go Fly A Kite
Don’t mind if we do, Mary! In what was a show stopper at the D23 event, Dick Van Dyke came on stage to announce the addition of a Mary Poppins attraction to the United Kingdom Pavilion. At the event there was no elaboration beyond the recreation of Cherry Tree Lane.
Fast-forward to the Epcot Experience. All of the segments highlighting what’s to come were very forthcoming around what we should expect. Whether it be an attraction or show or a walkthrough, all except for Mary Poppins called out what the experience would be.
Confirming what we mentioned in our World Showcase article, the Mary Poppins attraction has not been defined. Disney Imagineering is still very fluid on what the experience could be, with the DVC Duo’s assumption being it’s due to budget. According to Jim Hill of Jim Hill Media, the Mary Poppins announcement was a last-minute addition when the Brazil Pavilion announcement got delayed. We’re assuming we will get more details around the Mary Poppins attraction after the opening of the Rise of the Resistance in December. Disney is waiting to see what the return will be from Galaxy’s Edge before setting the budget.
Passholder Insights: For Mary Poppins related merchandise head into the UK Pavilion tea shop. The merchandise is towards the back.
Isn’t that what we’re doing? Well, yes. When we’re saying project, we’re referring to the projection technology Disney is using at Epcot Experience. The biggest hint at the show is right in front of us. We believe the advanced projecting technology Disney is using to transform the white Epcot model to the different show scenes is the same technology for HarmonoiUS.
That’s right, one of the big aspects of the nighttime spectacular is projection technology. We’re guessing Disney Imagineering could look to use the same projection technology in the Epcot Experience to project on Spaceship Earth, but more impressively the World Showcase countries.
While watching the HarmonioUS segment of the show, take a deep look at the countries. It could just be the concept art, but it shows each of the countries being light up more than ever before. This is our best guess and purely an assumption.
Disney World likes to test as much as possible prior to bringing it life. The Epcot Experience is definitely outlining what’s to come, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Disney is testing a few of these ideas at the same time. It may be a while before we get more details around these assumptions. For now, we can use our “Imagination”. Imagination? That’s an article for another day!
Ready, set, let’s holiday! The Walt Disney World festive spirit is spreading to the Animal Kingdom holiday decorations. The holiday season at Walt Disney World is one of the best times of the year at the parks, from Mickey’s Partyat the Magic Kingdom to the Festival of the Holiday Epcot, it’s a must-see experience. On November 8, 2019, the Animal Kingdom takes a big step in joining the rest of the Walt Disney World parks in celebrating the season. We’re rocking our Christmas sweaters, let’s see how the Animal Kingdom holiday decorations are coming together!
Last year marked Disney World’s first major holiday up for the Animal Kingdom with the addition to the Diwali celebration. The festival of light was a truly beautiful sight, especially at night when the lanterns were lit. Disney is bringing back the celebration to the Asia section of the Animal Kingdom with more lanterns and glowing flowers in this year’s version. You’ll theses Animal Kingdom holiday decorations outside the Anadapur Theater (home to UP! The Great Bid Adventure) along the waterfront.
Passholder Insights: Along the waterfront is a shaded seating area that is rarely busy. It’s a great place to take a midday break from the Florida sun.
Donald’s Holiday Bash
Over in Dinoland USA, Donald and his other Dino-Bash friends are decking out the land for the holiday. The Animal Kingdom holiday decorations associated with Donald’s Dino-Bash will reflect each of the character’s personalities. Should we assume in true Scrooge McDuck fashion some type of money related decorations? We think it’s a safe bet!
Once night falls it’s time to dance it out in Dinoland USA! In what’s being described as a Truck-O-Saurus will be pumping out the jams. Guests will be able to partake in dancing and interactive games with none other than Chip and Dale. Fingers crossed they’re rocking a Christmas inspired dino costume.
Passholder Insights: During less busy times, Dinosaur operates with limited hours. The hours would be from 10 am to 6 pm.
West Meets East
Harambe at Christmas! What do you get when you mix western style with the authentic African celebrations? You get Animal Kingdom holiday decorations for the Africa section of the park. With subtle adjustments to the famous musical and entertainment acts costumes, along with new music, we have Christmas in Harambe.
In addition the area will be the go-to location for holiday-inspired character dining at the Tusker House. Mickey and friends will be showing off their holiday best for the season.
An Avatar Christmas
Pandora is bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase home for the holidays. Decorated with ex-pats kitschy decor from Earth, mixed with a little Pandora flare, you got an Avatar Christmas. The majority of the Animal Kingdom holiday decorations in the World of Avatar will be centered around Pongu Pongu and Satu’li Canteen.
Passholder Insights: Pandora is one of the areas in the Animal Kingdom that’s great to see in the day and a can’t miss at miss.
Center Of It All
Discovery Island is the focal point for the Animal Kingdom holiday decorations. Entering the land you stumble upon a winter celebration where artists have put their unique spins on the decorations. It’s truly a white Christmas in Discovery Island with a white serving as the backdrop for the animal luminaries on the rooftops, wire bird-shaped lanterns and garland draped from the buildings.
The headliner is sure to be the variety of life-size holiday animal puppets. From reindeer to polar bears and of the always dressed for the occasion penguins. Musicians will provide a holiday soundtrack to the area and the puppets interact with guests.
Capping off the night will be the newly developed holiday version of the Tree of Life Awaken. Winter tales is the theme to show with holiday musical traditions setting the tone.
Excited! Over the past few years, Disney has slowly been expanding the holiday flare of the Animal Kingdom. It’s great to see they’ve made the jump to deck out the Animal Kingdom with holiday decorations. It’s still early but we’re betting these new editions will be gift everyone is talking about in the new year. The holidays have come to the Animal Kingdom!