What an exciting week of announcements and openings! Let's review:
Walt Disney World
The long-awaited ride, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance joined Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (picture above) when it opened in Disney's Hollywood Studio on Thursday, December 5, 2019! Guests waited hours in lines to be among the very first to ride this innovative, exciting attraction.
For the first day, Disney was using a Virtual Queue system to manage crowds. Here's more about the Virtual Queue:
If “Join a Boarding Group” is grayed out, that means the boarding groups are full for the day and are no longer available. As long as your Client's My Disney Experience account is linked to park tickets for them, and the others in their group, they’ll be able to enroll everyone in the virtual queue at the same time.
Guests should make sure push notifications are turned on for My Disney Experience so they will be alerted if their boarding group is called to return. Guests will have up to two hours from the time of the alert to go to the entrance of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, so feel free to enjoy other attractions in Hollywood Studios. Once there, they can expect to wait and spend some time getting immersed in the story and soaking in the rich details before experiencing the attraction. Please note that joining a boarding group does not guarantee the ability to experience Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Members of the Guest Experience Team are available throughout the park to assist with managing the Virtual Queue.
Rise of the Resistance will debut in Disneyland in January.
Three new films will debut Jan. 17, 2020, at Epcot, on the same day the Epcot International Festival of the Arts begins!
“Awesome Planet” in The Land pavilion showcases the Earth’s beauty and diversity in a 10-minute film featuring spectacular imagery, in-theater effects and an original musical score from Academy Award-winning® composer Steven Price. This replaces 'Circle of Life,' the long-running show that closed earlier this year.
“Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along” in the France pavilion is directed and produced by Don Hahn, producer of the animated and live-action “Beauty and the Beast” films, and invites Guests to participate in a twist on a tale as old as time. It also features narration from Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts in the original film. The new sing-along will run in rotation with “Impressions de France,” which will receive an upgrade to 4K projection.
New narration by award-winning actors Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy will feature in the new film “Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360” in the Canada pavilion. This is an update to the previous “O Canada!” film with new scenes, a new musical score by Canadian composer Andrew Lockington.
Also coming to EPCOT: Ducktales World Showcase Adventure will replace Agent P! The popular scavenger hunt game definitely needed an update and the Ducktales characters are so much fun! No date has been announced, so stay tuned!
Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney
The panelists of Cruise Critic, a global resource for vacation information have chosen Disney Cruise Line and Adventures by Disney® as the “Best for Families” in the annual Editors’ Picks Awards! This is the third year in a row that the cruise line and river cruise experiences have been recognized in this category.
Cruise Critic’s international team of editors combine first-hand experience with industry knowledge to select cruise vacations that are perfectly suited for every member of the family. And with more than 350,000 cruise reviews, that cover approximately 700 cruise ships and nearly 500 worldwide ports, they are definitely the ultimate online cruise resource.
Several special After Hours events were recently announced for Disneyland.
January 29, Disneyland Park
Guests will enjoy special fireworks, throwback character experiences, immersive photo ops, dance parties and more! Event starts at 6pm and requires a separate ticket.
February 12 and 13, Disneyland Park
Experience the ultimate date night in style with love song themed dance parties, your favorite Disney couple characters. Plus, special decor, food, beverages and merchandise. Event starts at 6pm.
March 5, Disney California Adventure Park
Celebrate some of the Pixar's best-loved stories and characters! Festivities include dance parties, encounters with Pixar pals, photo ops, decor, food and beverage plus special merchandise! Starts at 5pm.
April 30, Disney California Adventure Park
It's everyone's favorite Villains in their own event with a Cabaret show, DJ dance parties and sing-alongs. Character encounters, photos ops plus special decor, food, beverages and merchandise! Event begins at 6 pm.
*A limited quantity of tickets for each event will be available.
Mary Graham is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. She has planned many trips for her clients, including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney as well as other destinations and cruise lines. Her email is: firstname.lastname@example.org