Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort to Discontinue Bus Service to Disney Springs

There will be a number of changes to the bus service for Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort beginning August 29th.

Bus service to Disney Springs is being discontinued, with guests being able to choose to take the Sassagoula River Cruise water taxi from the boat dock, or take the walkway from Congress Park.

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort will also have a new internal bus service.  Starting next week, a dedicated bus will run internally, stopping at the eight bus stops approximately every 20 minutes.

A new route will also run directly from the Congress Park stop to the Typhoon Lagoon water park.


‘Clawhauser’ Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card To Be Released At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

When Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party returns to Magic Kingdom Park next Friday, September 2nd, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom fans can pick up a special treat – this year’s event-exclusive game card which will feature Clawhauser from “Zootopia.”

Why Clawhauser? Because he loves sweets, particularly donuts! On Halloween he enjoys sharing the delicious, ring-shaped delights with the trick-or-treaters who come to his door. Merlin the Magician was so impressed with the cheetah’s generosity, that he created a spell in his honor, “Clawhauser’s Tricky Treat.” When a sorcerer casts this spell, dozens of magical donuts appear! But spell-casters must be wary: careless use might result in an explosion of rainbow sprinkles!

New to the game? Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an in-park interactive experience that allows guests join Merlin’s quest to defeat Disney Villains who are scheming to take over Magic Kingdom Park. Guests use maps to search for villain hideouts throughout the park, and visit magic portals where they use spell cards to fight back against a villain’s plan. The journey begins at the Firehouse on Main Street, U.S.A., where you can pick up everything you need to play.

This special event card will be distributed separately (and in addition to) the regular Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card packs you’re given at this location. Guests must register to play with their party ticket and event wristband in order to get one.

Walt Disney World Filling in Upstream Plunge Pool at Abandoned River Country, Not Zika Related According to Disney

The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the 330,000-gallon Upstream Plunge at the long abandoned River Country water park is being filled in.  River Country, which opened in 1976, closed in 2002 after Disney’s newer water parks — Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon — became more popular.

The pool is surrounded by man-made boulders for jumping and diving platforms.

Disney has said that it has no immediate plans to tear down any other portions of the park.

Standing water can attract mosquitoes, but Disney officials have said that the work at River Country has been planned for a while and is unrelated to the Zika virus.

The ‘Great Irish Hooley’ Returns to Raglan Road Labor Day Weekend

This year, Raglan Road celebrates the 5th Anniversary of their “Great Irish Hooley” with craft beer, cool cocktails, authentic Irish food, and, perhaps most impressive, a brand-new “Rhythms of Raglan” show—a 90-minute live spectacle of music and dance, produced in Ireland and directed by David Hayes of “Riverdance” and “The Voice: Ireland Edition” and choreographed in part by Michael Donnellan, famous for his work in “Lord of the Dance.”

Taking place September 2-5, 2016 over the long Labor Day Weekend, this music-festival-meets-festive-food soiree mixes authentic Irish entertainment with some of the best bites and sips this side of the Emerald Isle. (Seriously. Have you ever had the fish and chips at Raglan Road? And don’t even get me started on their Bailey’s Shake!) The fun begins at noon on Friday, September 2nd and runs through last call the following Monday.

With a day-to-night lineup that includes a nice mix of family-friendly offerings and late-night performances, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Below, a few of the acts I’m most excited for, with descriptions coming straight from the source at Raglan Road:

Screaming Orphans – Four talented sisters from Bundoran in County Donegal, Ireland, combine original pop/rock music with the Ceili (kay-lee) traditional music of their family roots. Their dynamic show has taken the festival circuit by storm.

Jake Richardson – Jake is a singer-songwriter and musician from Dublin whose passion for music inspires audiences as he entertains with unique vocals and catchy songs.

Flat Out – Flat Out is an award winning four-piece band from the West of Ireland that plays an exciting mix of folk, traditional, pop and New World music. Band members are all multi-instrumentalists combining Irish harp, guitar, fiddle, tin whistle, flute, button accordion, bodhran. They play fresh original music along with funky cover music and have been playing and travelling the world since 2013.

Marianne Fraser Band – Marianne is one of the most sought after guitarists and songwriters on the Irish music scene who is ably supported by Danny Hunter on fiddle and Ali Levack on whistles and pipes. The band performs a high-energy mix of traditional and modern tunes along with Marianne’s own compositions.

Swingin’ On the Gate – This four-piece band of multi-instrumentalists with roots in legendary Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare have serious crossover credentials and musical pedigree including traditional and classical training. They are multiple medal winners at Fleadhs music competitions and have toured in Italy, Switzerland and the United States.

The Raglan Roots Coalition – 10 years down the road, Raglan felt it was time to shake its boogie – Roots style, with this new Irish house band. Think soul-rocking Celtic bluegrass with some hip-swingin’, knee-shakin’ funky roots beats.

The High Road – These young, traditional Irish musicians met in University in Ireland. A predominately Irish traditional group, they also play British folk, blues and soul, and their combined talents provide for a vibrant, exciting live show of music and song.

Cooney & Ryan – One of the finest traditional Irish music duos around, these accomplished, energetic musicians often invite the crowd to sing along.

The Raglan Road Irish Dancers – Plucked from the cast and stages of the world’s greatest Irish dance shows, the Raglan Road Dancers perform throughout the long Hooley weekend. You can even learn some traditional Irish dance steps – no experience necessary!

Make plans now to make The Great Irish Hooley part of your Labor Day Weekend – and be sure to catch The Rythms of Raglan show, taking place at 4 p.m. Sept. 2, and at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Sept. 3, 4 and 5. (Tip: pencil in extra time for Celtic face-painting, happening Saturday through Monday!)

For the full entertainment schedule, visit www.raglanload.com and www.greatirishhooley.comcloser to the event.

Walt Disney World to Start Limited Direct Bus Service from Theme Parks to Disney Springs

For guests that want to get from the Walt Disney theme parks to Disney Springs, it’s about to get a bit easier.

Beginning on August 28th Disney Transportation will be providing a new direct bus service from all of the theme parks to Disney Springs.  The direct service will only run from 4 PM to 11 PM (or until 2 hours after park closing) daily.

The new bus service will be one-way only.  This means that in order to return to any of the theme parks will require that guests it will need to first go to a Walt Disney Resort hotel, then transfer to a bus that goes to a theme park.

Walt Disney World to Extend Western Way to Route 545 (Avalon Rd.)

Walt Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District is working toward plans to extend Western Way, a road just west of the Walt Disney World Resort — a move that will pave the way for all sorts of future development in that area.

The four lane road will join the existing Western Way at Flamingo Crossings, just beyond the intersection with SR 429, and will pass through Flamingo Crossings, connecting to Avalon Road (State Road 545).

Western Way was built as a new western entrance to the Walt Disney World Resort, entering property near to Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort.

Disney plans to zone 154 acres in Flamingo Crossings for 1,300 multifamily units and 150,000 square feet of commercial space. The company has been working with county staff since May, as well as selling pieces of the land to make way for other unannounced developments.

The road’s extension also brings into play more land – excluding the Flamingo Crossings development — which could be an opportunity for developers looking to build out the western side of Walt Disney World. That area still has plenty of potential for more lodging, commercial, retail and residential development.

Disney Parks Moms Panel Search for New Panelists to Begin September 7th

Are you an experienced Disney vacation traveler and take pride in helping your friends and family members plan their own magical vacations? If so, you should consider applying for the 2017 Disney Parks Moms Panel.

The application window will open at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 and close at 12:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. The first round application process includes short essay questions, basic information questions, and a sample question similar to what you’d find on the Disney Parks Moms Panel website.

This September marks the 10th year of the annual search for new panelists. The first Moms Panel search launched in September 2007 and since then more than 140 moms, dads, grandparents have helped other guests with decisions and planning logistics around all types Disney vacations.

The Disney Parks Moms Panel focuses on nearly every type of Disney vacation including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disney Vacation Club, runDisney and events at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. And because the site is available in four languages, we hope to find panelists fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

If you’re the go-to vacation planner in the family and consider yourself very knowledgeable about Disney Parks vacations, consider applying for next year’s panel.

Keira Knightley to Play Live-Action Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney’s ‘The Nutcracker’ 

Keira Knightley will star as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Disney’s retelling of “The Nutcracker.”

Mackenzie Foy is on board to play Clara, with Misty Copeland and Morgan Freeman also attached to the movie.

The live-action film — based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” — is titled “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.” In the pic, one of Clara’s Christmas toys — a Nutcracker doll — comes to life and battles the evil Mouse King with seven heads.

Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and choreographers Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov turned Alexandre Dumas’ adaptation of the classic story into the “The Nutcracker” ballet in 1892.

Lasse Hallström will direct the upcoming film from Ashleigh Powell’s script. Mark Gordon is producing, while Lindy Goldstein is executive producing. Sam Dickerman and Allison Erlikhman are overseeing the project for Disney. Sara Smith is working on behalf of the Mark Gordon Company.

Knightley has a long history with the studio that began with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise. She was most recently seen in the Working Title ensemble disaster film “Everest.” Her New Line dramedy “Collateral Beauty,” also starring Will Smith and Kate Winslet, opens this December.

 From Variety

Walt Disney World Changes Steven Tyler’s Hand Gesture on Rock ‘n Roller Coaster

For 17 years, Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler has appeared in a pre-show for the Disney’s Hollywood Studios attraction in which he bonds with the audience and invites them to the group’s concert.

To get to the concert, park visitors ride in special cars that zip you around the sights and sounds of Los Angeles.

Apparently some guests became upset with a hand gesture Tyler makes near the end of the video.

Steven Tyler RnRC

Tyler says, “Wait a minute, I love that idea.” while holding three fingers over his head.

Well…not anymore.

Disney officials have apparently digitally added digits to Tyler’s hand in the pre-show video.

Guests can now safely ride Rock ‘n Roller Coaster without being offended by Steven Tyler.

YesterEars Vintage Apparel Collection Coming to Disney Parks Online Store on August 18th

Disney has announced a new vintage apparel collection called “YesterEars” coming to the Disney Parks Online Store on August 18. The name of this collection was inspired by a shop with the same name once found at the former Downtown Disney Pleasure Island. During the next three months, you’ll find limited release apparel inspired by classic Walt Disney World Resort attractions and locations. Here’s a look at what you will find from August 18-25, 2016 at DisneyStore.com/ParkEvents.

YesterEars - Dreamfinder

The first shirt in this collection is something from our childhood. Many of  fell in love with Dreamfinder and Figment when we first visited in the 1980’s or 1990’s. Many of wore a shirt with Dreamfinder and Figment on it during that first trip. Richard Terpstra recreated that exact ringer t-shirt!

Richard also designed this Raglan with artwork inspired by a Walt Disney World Preview Center advertisement. The Center was open from January 10, 1970, until September 30, 1971. At the location, guests could learn about the project firsthand through displays of models and drawings, and a short filmed presentation. There was also a snack bar and merchandise shop. The original Preview Center building can still be found on Hotel Plaza Boulevard near Disney Springs.

Finally, you can “seize the future” with this X-S Tech shirt inspired by ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. This classic Tomorrowland attraction was open from June 20, 1995 to October 11, 2003 in the Magic Kingdom. Housed in the Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center was the laboratory of X-S Tech, a corporation from a distant planet intent on demonstrating its interplanetary teleportation apparatus. But the demonstration was marred by difficulties and an alien creature was accidentally teleported into the laboratory.