Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes 3/18/15

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Well, that didn’t take long!  Usually a few weeks go by before enough little news pieces fly across my desk, but today, I have a full set of fun little nuggets; guess it’s because Spring Break season is here. This time, most bites revolve around fun in the resorts with some little changes and unique events taking place that I think are both important to know, as well as could be a great additions to those of you with Spring Break vacations planned.

  • Over at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, they are testing a situation where Guests will no longer receive a parking placard and will instead be asked to present their MagicBand when entering at these two hotel security kiosks, as well as at theme park Auto Plazas to gain entry.  For those returning to the hotel, they will need to touch their MagicBand to the access gate’s readers. For those wishing to visit a theme park, they simply will need to present their MagicBand to the Auto Plaza Cast Member and will receive complimentary parking. This test is being introduced because Guests now have the option to head directly to their resort room, bypassing the front desk, which is where they would receive the parking placard; this placard will no longer be needed by Guests. One would expect this will become standard practice resort-wide here soon.

  • Lots of extra fun is taking place at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter.  First, running Fridays through the month of March is an evening experience called “Frozen Fridays.” Starting at 4:00 p.m. Guests will be able to participate in fun activities, a campfire with a “Frozen” singalong, special dining offerings and, of course, a showing of Frozen.  Then beginning on March 31, the resort will premiere “Fat Tuesdays,” which has a goal of keeping the spirit of Mardi Gras alive. It will occur from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will feature activities, a DJ and special dining offerings.
  • The River Roost Lounge over at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside is currently serving select breakfast items from 7:00 a.m. to noon daily.  The menu features breakfast items including assorted pastries, breakfast sandwiches, cereals, oatmeal and specialty coffees. This test will run until May.
  • Also at Port Orleans Riverside, Muddy Rivers is now offering a new menu featuring grab-and-go food for Guests. This poolside bar which is located on Ol’ Man Island will feature packaged options that include a tuna salad croissant; Cajun turkey club; ham and cheese croissant; hot dog; garden salad with chicken; a kid’s turkey sandwich; and a kid’s Uncrustable PB&J. Cocktail service is available from noon until 6:00 p.m. daily allowing Guests to order and receive food and drinks poolside.
  • The Fourth Annual Easter Egg Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa will be taking place in the lobby area from March 20–April 10. These incredible eggs have been created by the Grand Floridian’s bakery team and are simply gorgeous. Don’t miss out on these works of art.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will be celebrating Namibia’s Independence Day on March 21. There will be a themed prop table at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge—Jambo House Lobby from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. to educate Guests. In addition, a Namibian Savanna Guide will present a Namibian Overview Cultural Safari in the Sunset Lounge at 7:30 p.m.
  • Heading into Disney’s Animal Kingdom, due to heavier crowds, additional menu items are being offered throughout the park.  From 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at Isle of Java and Harambe Fruit Market, they will be offering a smoked turkey sandwich and at Dino-Bites, Guests can grab a corn dog and chips. At the Everest Kiosk, they’ll be offering a hot dog and smoked turkey sandwich and at Bradley Falls, they will be offering a Thai pork sandwich. These locations will be offering meals from 10:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. At Drinkwallah, Guests can get a smoked turkey sandwich meal from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Finally at the cart near Creature Comforts, Guests can purchase hot dogs from 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
  • Speaking of Animal Kingdom, there are a few new animals that are on display. First, the four ring-tailed lemurs are back home at Discovery Island. Also, five new sable antelopes have joined the rest of the herd on the savannahs of Kilimanjaro Safaris. Finally, a new Sumatran tiger will now be able to be seen at the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

That’s it! Thoughts on this latest update?

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Rikki Niblett

I am a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and do lots of other fun Disney stuff all around the interwebs! You can follow me on Twitter or Instagram at @RikkiNibs or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/rikkinibs

3 thoughts on “Walt Disney World Newsworthy Notes 3/18/15

  • March 18, 2015 at 7:44 pm

    A note on the BC/YC parking trial. Your MagicBand already opened the parking gate at your hotel, didn’t it? I remember using my band to open the gate at AKL in June. It was really inconvenient, actually, because the readers are so far away from where your car’s window pulls up, and you have to turn your wrist a certain way. I ended up taking mine off and reaching it out to the touchpoint that way.

    • March 19, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Rick- agreed- definitely did that last year at AKL as well!

      • March 19, 2015 at 12:28 pm

        Yes…the MagicBand has been able to open the gates before. (Matter of fact, the Key to the World card would do the same before when those were available for guests on a regular basis.)

        I also agree that it’s inconvenient, Rick. I’m short and I often had to take my MagicBand off when pulling up to the gate just to get it to let me in.

        The main change is that guests will no longer need the parking placard.

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