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TouringPlans Travel Beat 6-8-2024

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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? 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!

  • Limited-Time Treats for Lion King 30th Anniversary
  • Magic Key Pass Sales are Paused
  • Disney Teases Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Food
  • Disney Teases Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Merch
  • National Geographic Expeditions Adds Three New Signature Tours
  • Dr. Strange Show to End at Disney California Adventure
  • New House Revealed for 2024 Halloween Horror Nights
  • Fantasy Springs Officially Open at Tokyo DisneySea
  • Pay Half the Deposit on Select Disney Cruise Bookings Through August 9
  • Lookout Cay Welcomes its First Guests at Lighthouse Point
  • Anger Joins the Pixar Fest Lineup at Disneyland
  • Headline News Recap

Can you guess which story inspired this week’s cover image? Leave your guesses in the comments! (Hint: This week is kind of a gimme.)

Limited-Time Treats for Lion King 30th Anniversary

The Lion King 30th Anniversary celebration begins at Animal Kingdom this week, and new menu items will be introduced throughout the park. These treats should be available throughout the summer under the celebration closes on September 9. What can you munch on? The Simba Paw cookie is available throughout the park, and location-specific items are listed below.

  • Discovery Island
    • Eight Spoon Cafe: The Simba mango-flavored slushy with grenadine and gummy candies
    • Isle of Java: Timon’s Luau, a layered dessert with vanilla and tropical flavors
    • Tiffins Restaurant: Rafiki’s Squash Banana is a blended shake with fruit and warm spices
    • Tiffins Restaurant: Lion King 30th Anniversary “Remember Who You Are” dessert. Kenyan coffee mousse filled with caramelized bananas, chai chantilly, and banana-caramel sauce, and topped with chocolate-coffee crumble and decorations.
© Disney
  • Africa
    • Tamu Tamu Refreshments: Zazu Ice Cream Sandwich, with vanilla ice cream and blue cake-coated sugar cookies.
    • Harambe Market: You Follow Old Rafiki Cheesecake, passion fruit-mango cheesecake with a coconut-lime crust
  • Dinoland U.S.A.
    • Restaurantosaurus: Shenzi Strawberry Lemonade, Minute Maid Premium Lemonade, Minute Maid Strawberry Smoothie, and blue curaçao syrup.
    • Restaurantosaurus: Rightful Ruler Cupcake, red velvet cake with cookies ‘n cream cheesecake filling and chocolate icing. (Also available at Pizzafari.)
    • Trilo-Bites: Zazu Dole Whip Lime and Coconut Float, Dole Whip Lime swirled into Sprite, with coconut and blue curaçao syrup.

Magic Key Pass Sales are Paused

After selling out almost instantly when they first became available after the pandemic, and several times thereafter, Magic Key Passes for Disneyland have been continuously available for almost 3 months. No more: as of earlier this week all four pass types are listed as being available for renewal only.

Disney Teases Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Food

With the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure just a few weeks away, Disney has added to the flood of Tiana’s excitement they’ve been unleashing with new announcements about limited-time food to celebrate the opening. (We know, some of you really would prefer to hear about whether you can have a Boarding Group for Tiana’s and TRON at the same time … no news on that yet.)

First, the food. Most items are available from June 28 through September 6, although some are already announced as permanent additions and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few others join that list.

In Frontierland, two locations will offer Tiana-themed foods.

Golden Oak Outpost (Available June 28 through September 6) 

  • Hot Honey Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries: Chicken nuggets tossed in hot sauce-honey served with New Orleans olive relish and Cajun-spiced sweet potato fries
  • Shrimp Gumbo with Sweet Potato Fries: Shrimp and Andouille sausage gumbo topped with Cajun-spiced sweet potato fries
  • Tiana’s Famous Beignets: Light, sweet, and fluffy beignets with powdered sugar and drizzled with honey

NEW! Critter Co-Op (Coming soon) 

    • Green Apple Gummi Frogs
    • Spicy Butter Toffee Peanuts
© Disney

Elsewhere in the park, Pinocchio Village House will have a limited-time Peach Cobbler, the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor will have a limited-time Butter Pecan Praline Sundae, and the Plaza Restaurant will serve up limited-time Tiana’s Chantilly cake. You can also find a Princess Tiana Sipper at the Friar’s Nook and carts near the castle, available while supplies last.

The Main Street Confectionary gets a more permanent rotation, with two new popcorn mixes, one sweet and one savory. If you’re looking for something to take home, you can find Mama Odie’s Hot Sauce and Dooky Chase’s Seasonings at the Emporium (and Critter Co-Op once it opens).

© Disney

It’s not just Magic Kingdom! The whole resort is getting in on the fun, and you’ll be able to find limited-time offerings of Bayou Lavender Lemonade, Crisped Rice Cereal Treat Lily Pad, and the Pecan Praline Caramel Apple throughout the parks and resorts.

Disney Teases Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Food

Not everyone is driven by their stomach, and for those of us who love a good piece of merch, the Tiana launch announcements have not overlooked us. These merchandise collections will launch at the Emporium, and then move to Critter Co-Op in Frontierland once it opens. Here’s a sampler from Disney’s release before we get to a couple of special items.

Worthy of a special note: you’ll be able to buy Dooky Chase’s Seasonings available in Gumbo Base, Seafood Seasoning, Meat Seasoning, and Fried Chicken Seasoning flavors. Dooky Chase’s Restaurant was owned and operated by Leah Chase, whose story helped inspire the tale of Princess Tiana, and this is the only place you’ll be able to buy these spice blends outside of the restaurant in New Orleans.

© Disney

For kids (or adults) looking for a special souvenir, Interactive Fireflies can be your companion. According to Disney, these fireflies just love to be social, and they’ll light up whenever they sense another Interactive Firefly friend nearby.

© Disney

National Geographic Expeditions Adds Three New Signature Tours

Beginning in 2025, guests who choose to tour the world with National Geographic Expeditions have three new itineraries to choose from in Australia, Portugal, and Sri Lanka.

Australia: Reefs, Rainforests and Wild Tasmania. This 11-day itinerary visits the Land Down Under to explore nature, wildlife, and aboriginal cultures. Highlights include snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef, trekking with aboriginal guides at the Daintree Rainforest, and more.

© Disney

Portugal and the Azores: Explorers, Ecological Wonders and Epicurean Delights. Discover Portugal’s art and architecture through connections to its past. The 10-day itinerary includes visits to five UNESCO World Heritage sites, private vineyard tours, culinary stops, kayaking or biking along the Douro Valley, a visit to São Miguel Island and the Sete Cidades preservation area, and more.

Sri Lanka: Wildlife and Wonders of the Spice Island. For 11 days, you can explore the rich history and current culture of this island country that boasts incredible biodiversity. Enjoy wildlife observation, including an ocean experience, as well as visits to tea country, a cinnamon plantation, and a safari drive in Yala National Park.

Booking for these tours, as well as the rest of the 2025 Signature Land tour roster, began on June 4. Guests can book directly with National Geographic, or through a travel agent.

Dr. Strange Show to End at Disney California Adventure

“Doctor Strange: Mysteries of the Mystic Arts” in Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park will be ending its run on June 30. The Mysterious Mystic himself will continue to greet guests around Avengers Campus, it’s just the magic show in the Ancient Sanctum that will be coming to a close.

© Disney

New House Revealed for 2024 Halloween Horror Nights

Universal’s most newly-announced Halloween Horror Nights House will be themed around “A Quiet Place”, with the franchise’s newest film due on June 28th. In keeping with the “don’t make a sound” premise, the house will be the first to feature American Sign Language. The “A Quiet Place” House will join the lineup at both Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. Elsewhere in HHN news, tickets for the event at Universal Studios Hollywood are now on sale, as are tickets for the premium preview at Universal Orlando.

Fantasy Springs Officially Open at Tokyo DisneySea

With all the news from previews of Fantasy Springs trickling out, did you feel like it was already open? Well, now it’s officially, officially open. The new land, with its three areas inspired by Frozen, Tangled, and Peter Pan, cut the ribbon on Thursday and is now welcoming all guests.

© Disney

Pay Half the Deposit on Select Disney Cruise Bookings Through August 9

Short and sweet: book an eligible Disney cruise by August 9, 2024, and you’ll only need to put down half the usual deposit for your fare. This does not change the total price of the cruise, only what you’ll need to pay at booking. Book online or talk to your favorite travel agent (really, for cruises travel agents are the way to go). If you need a recommendation, one of our favorites is Touring and Cruises. This promotion is available for sailings on the Wonder, Dream, Magic, and Wish, with the following eligible departure dates:

  • Disney Wonder: October 20, 2024, through February 24, 2025
  • Disney Dream: January 4, 2025, through March 29, 2025
  • Disney Magic: January 6, 2025, through March 20, 2025
  • Disney Wish: January 3, 2025, through March 31, 2025

Lookout Cay Welcomes its First Guests at Lighthouse Point

The big cruise news of the week was the opening of Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point, Disney’s new private cruise port on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. There were some amazing things, and also some logistical hiccups. Check back next Sunday for Erin’s article on the experience but in the meantime enjoy the pics below – some of the first we have that aren’t courtesy of Disney!

Anger Joins the Pixar Fest Lineup at Disneyland

Disney previously announced over 20 characters to Meet & Greet during Pixar Fest 2024, including Ember and Wade from “Elemental” and Luca and Alberto from “Luca”, members of the Incredibles, Ian and Barley from “Onward”, and of course favorites from Toy Story and more. With “Inside Out 2” debuting in theaters on June 14, there’s a last-minute surprise addition to the lineup — Anger will join Joy and Sadness in representing Inside Out. You can meet Anger starting on Friday, through the end of 2024’s Pixar Fest on August 4, 2024.

© Disney

Headline News Recap

Disney had previously announced that the new Island Tower rooms at the Polynesian would be available for cash booking beginning this week; just in time they also released pictures and details of the rooms. New Island Tower Rooms at the Polynesian Opening Date and Room Details.

The big headline for next week is the walls at CommuniCore Center in World Celebration — they’re coming down! On June 10, this Festival Center will open, and the Celebración Encanto! sing-along show will debut on its stage.

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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