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TouringPlans Travel Beat 10-28-2023

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At Travel Beat we have all the “other” news from the last week or so—the stuff that wasn’t big enough to stop the presses for. What did the newsroom bring us this week? (Sneak peek: a flood. Just so. much. news. everywhere.) Bullets are just ahead if you’re in a hurry, and more details follow below. Don’t forget to check out the Headline News Recap, in case there was something you missed!

  • Zootopia at Shanghai Resort Opening Date Announced
  • Festival of the Arts Dates Announced
  • Celebrity Cruise Line Adds New Loyalty Perk
  • Skyliner Closing in January for Maintenance
  • Kids Special $50 Ticket Offer at Disneyland
  • Adventureland Treehouse Opening Date Announced
  • Fantasy Springs Opening Date Announced
  • Thunderbirds Flyover at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT
  • Palm Breeze Bar Opening Date and Menu Announced
  • Southwest Airlines to Move International Base to Orlando
  • Menu Released for Eet by Maneet Chouhan
  • Headline News Recap

If anything you read below tickles your feet, feel free to reach out to our friends at TouringPlans Travel for a free quote.

Zootopia at Shanghai Resort Opening Date Announced

Zootopia at Shanghai Disney Resort will be opening on Dec. 20, 2023! Guests will get right into the mood with atmosphere baked into the streets. As you stroll along, you’ll hear patients undergoing dental work at the Beaver Dentist, and snoring bears at the Hibernation Hotel.

© Disney


You’ll find themed merchandise, of course, at Fashions by Fru Fru, and food for everyone at Jumbeaux’s Café. Last but not least, you can experience Zootopia’s brand new ride: Zootopia: Hot Pursuit, where you’ll ride along on your first day of police officer training until “something goes wrong” and you’re needed to help rescue Gazelle from her kidnapper.

Festival of the Arts Dates Announced

(art by @natebaranowski)

Festival of the Arts will be returning to EPCOT from January 12 to February 19, 2024. This fan favorite features art in all its forms including artist demonstrations, guest-participation art, the Disney on Broadway concert series, and of course a series of Festival food booths. More details in the months to come!

Celebrity Cruise Line Adds New Loyalty Perk

Guests in the Elite, Elite Plus, or Zenith status tiers of the Captain’s Club, Celebrity’s loyalty program, will see a new cocktail hour event added to all cruises of 5+ nights beginning in January 2024. The Elite Cocktail Hour will offer returning guests “the opportunity to be a part of a community of like-minded travelers with whom you can share your experiences onboard’. The mix-and-mingle event will be offered in an existing lounge space, and won’t replace any currently offered Captain’s Club events. The number of Elite Cocktail Hour events will vary based on the length of sailing; 5-7 night voyages will have two Elite Cocktail Hours and cruises that are 8 nights or longer will offer it 3 times.

Skyliner Closing in January for Maintenance

The Skyliner hub at Caribbean Beach

As part of regular maintenance, Disney Skyliner routes will be closed for 7-10 days each in January of 2024. When the Skyliner is closed, bus transportation will be available to all Disney World locations normally serviced by the unavailable Skyliner routes.

  • Jan. 16-21 closures
    • Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort line
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and Disney’s Hollywood Studios line
  • Jan. 16-27 closures
    • Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort and International Gateway at EPCOT line

Kids Special $50 Ticket Offer at Disneyland

In early 2024 kids can visit the Disneyland Resort for just $50 a day. Valid for entry from January 8 to March 10, 2024, the child pricing applies to guests ages 3-9. This offer can be purchased as a 1, 2, or 3-day ticket, and can be upgraded to add Park Hopper and Disney Genie+ service for an additional fee. Theme park reservations are required and availability of reservations is not guaranteed.

Adventureland Treehouse Opening Date Announced

The Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland Park closed over two years ago, in September 2021. In just two weeks on November 10, 2023, it will once again welcome guests to the treetops. The attraction has been extensively reimagined and invites visitors to explore 5 separate areas.

Adventureland Treehouse Concept Art © Disney

On the ground level, you can wander through the kitchen and dining room, and see the father’s studio which gives a preview of the house with hand-drawn sketches and paintings of each room. Upstairs, you can visit the Daughter’s Room which is decked out as an astronomer’s loft, the Mother’s Room which highlights the musical instruments that are her passion, and the Sons’ Nature Room, packed with plants and animals.

Fantasy Springs Opening Date Announced

You may remember that back in August we got details on rides, dining, and other features at the brand-new Fantasy Springs port at Tokyo DisneySea. This week we learned that the official opening date will be June 6, 2024.

Fantasy Springs Hotel concept art © Disney

Thunderbirds Flyover at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT

A few times a year, Disney World visitors can enjoy a different kind of spectacular in the sky. This Monday, October 30, Walt Disney World is hosting a flyover by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team. The event comes on the heels of Disney World’s Military Salute 2024 announcement and marks the beginning of National Veterans and Military Families Month in November, as well as Disney’s 100th anniversary, and the Thunderbirds’ 70th year.

Palm Breeze Bar Opening Date and Menu Announced

The Villas at the Disneyland Hotel opened at the end of September, but we just got word that its Palm Breeze Bar poolside Quick Service location will be opening on November 2. The Palm Breeze Bar will set the atmosphere with Mary Blair-inspired modern decor, and offer a menu filled with Shareables, Salads, Sandwiches, and Pizzas. On the beverage side, there’s a full mocktail menu with four non-alcoholic offerings, and of course there’s an extensive cocktail list as well. Let’s take a photo tour; dishes are listed below.

The kid’s menu includes a Power Pack: Yogurt smoothie, mandarin orange, and whole grain fish crackers, Cheesy Grilled Cheese, and Cheeseburger Sliders. And then there are the drinks:

  • Non-alcoholic Beverages: Pineapple Cooler, Citrus Ginger Ale, Non-alcoholic Fifty-Five-Fifty, Non-alcoholic Chilly Mango
  • Alcoholic Beverages: Signature Breezy Marg, Tropical Shandy, Seasonal G & T, Basil Grapefruit Sour, and more.

Southwest Airlines to Move International Base to Orlando

Southwest is moving departures for its daily routes to Cancun, Mexico; Grand Cayman; Nassau, Bahamas; Turks & Caicos; and Punta Cana, D.R. from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando on June 4 of next year, and adding an additional route to San Jose, Costa Rica. This move should make it more convenient for Southwest travelers looking to head to the Caribbean, as there are more options for getting to Orlando to connect to these flights.

Menu Released for Eet by Maneet Chouhan

A possible Build-Your-Own-Bowl at Eet by Maneet Chauhan © Disney

OK, that definitely looks yummy. There’s still no opening date, but full menus were released this week for the new Eet Quick Service at Disney Springs. There are Shareables, including a Bread Service and Tandoori Chicken Poutine. The Bread and Pizza menu includes both Naan dishes and also pizzas like the Chicken Tikka Naan Pizza and Saag Paneer Naan Pizza. And the Build Your Own Bowl section offers combinatorial cuisine; pick a base such as rice, riced cauliflower, or greens, add a kebab, and choose a sauce from an array of Indian favorites such as tikka, saag, and korma. There are desserts on the menu too, including a Gulab Juman Cheesecake, but I’m not sure I’ll have any room.

Headline News Recap

That’s it for this week’s Travel Beat. What news are you most excited about? Let us know in the comments!

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

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