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‘Disney After Hours’ returns to Walt Disney World® Resort

Walt Disney World® Resort has announced the extension of events giving guests after-hours access to some of the resort’s favorite attractions and character experiences.

On select nights, Magic Kingdom®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios® and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Parks will remain open 3 extra hours for those with special event tickets for Disney After Hours. Admission, which begins early at 7p, includes select attractions and character meet & greets as well as food and beverage offerings like ice cream novelties, popcorn, and select bottled beverages. A limited number of tickets will be sold for each night of the event.

Here’s more details on the event:







Contact your Magic Maker® for more details and to secure your tickets!

Parks will officially close to Guests who haven’t purchased Disney After Hours tickets. Number of tickets available is limited. All tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and are only valid for admission during the special event date and hours. All attractions, entertainment and experiences are subject to change without notice.

All-New Live Show Coming to Cinderella Castle Stage

This June, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will join the lineup of unparalleled entertainment offered to guests at the Walt Disney World® Resort. The new show will replace Dream Along With Mickey which previously ran several times daily on the Cinderella Castle stage inside Magic Kingdom® Park.

During Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire, Mickey Mouse and his pals unite in a tale of friendship featuring songs and characters from Disney’s contemporary classics “Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and “Frozen.” This will mark the first appearances by both Tiana and Rapunzel in a show on the castle stage.

No exact dates have been announced for the opening of the new show. Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will be presented multiple times daily and is included in admission to the park.

Two New Interactive Experiences Coming to the Walt Disney World® Resort

The Walt Disney World® Resort has announced the addition of two new interactive experiences to their Theme Parks this spring.

In Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park, guests will be able to become Wilderness Explorers and share Russell’s (from Disney•Pixar film Up) love for the adventure organization. Guests will use field guides to help complete challenges and earn badges throughout the park. With over 30 different badges, Wilderness Explorers will be a fun way to experience the park!

Inside the Adventureland® Area of Magic Kingdom® Park, guests can soon take part in A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas. Using their pirate map and magic talisman, participants will complete five different pirate raids to help locate the missing treasures. A place in Captain Jack’s new crew is awaiting anyone who is successful in helping him fight off pirate enemies like Captain Barbossa and Royal Navy. Unlike the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom® game, this new adventure will not be a card-powered game.

Wilderness Explorers and A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas are planned to open this spring, although no official dates have been announced.

 

Restaurants with “Character”

by Magic Maker® Courtney Harris

For my family, our vacation can’t officially begin until we have had a character breakfast with Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore at The Crystal Palace Restaurant in Magic Kingdom® Park.  In fact, we love character meals so much that we try to plan one for each day of our trip. This saves us so much time that we would normally use standing in line in the parks to meet the characters and get autographs. We can then use that saved time to squeeze in even more rides!

Character meals are so convenient because the characters actually come to your table while you are enjoying your meal. Once they are at your table, they will sign autograph books and pose for pictures with your family. The interaction is amazing!  It isn’t rushed and the characters are even sensitive to your child’s comfort level with them.  Some of my favorite vacation memories are of my children interacting with the characters at these meals. One night at dinner, my husband was up getting his plate from the buffet, and Tigger came and sat down in his seat next to my three year old son.  He stayed there for probably five minutes or more just playing and goofing off with my son. The smile on his face was priceless! He still talks about it to this day.

Many of the character meals are buffets, where you have lots of different items to sample and enjoy at your own pace.  Others are served family-style, where the server actually brings platters of food to you at your table, and you don’t have to do a thing!  Several of the restaurants even take your family’s photo before the meal, and then bring the photos around for you to preview and purchase while you are dining. Also, if you are a vegetarian or have dietary concerns, just tell your server and they will be sure to work with the chef to make those accommodations for you.

If you have a Magic Your Way® Package Plus Dining, all character meals, with the exclusion of Cinderella’s Royal Table, are only one table service credit.  Even if you are not on a dining plan, it is still worth every penny to be able to meet all of your favorite characters in an air-conditioned building while you eat, instead of standing in long lines out in the hot Florida sun. So whether it’s Pooh and Friends you’re looking for, or Jake from The Neverland Pirates, they can most likely be found at one of the numerous character meal experiences throughout the Walt Disney World® Resort! Just check with your Magic Maker® to find out which characters are featured at each location.

Character meals can be booked 180 days out and do tend to fill up quickly due to popularity, so be sure to ask your Magic Maker® for help in planning all of your dining reservations as soon as you book your trip!