New Security Measures Coming Soon To Disney Parks

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Disney Parks Brace For New Security Rules

As happy families everywhere start to pack their bags for a summer full of fun, the Walt Disney Co. has announced plans for further increases in security in their theme parks. The first of these measures will start in two weeks and will take effect in all six US based theme parks.

In 2015 Disney added metal detectors to the entrances of its parks, guests are randomly screened prior to entering the turnstile area. This security measure added to the bag check which started shortly after 9/11. The bag check is currently performed on all guest bags prior to entering the park.

In addition to the metal detectors, Disney also banned Selfie Sticks, costumes for adults, masks, swords and toy guns in 2015. They also stopped selling toy guns in the parks. These guns have been a popular purchase for boys since the park opened in 1971.

As of April 14th, guests entering Disney parks in California and Florida will be required to surrender all liquid filled containers. This includes water bottles, soda bottles, prepackaged juices and other beverage containers. One exception will be expressed milk for breast fed babies under the age of 2 years. For guests having special medical needs, a drop-off of medically necessary beverages can prearranged though Guest Services.

“We continue to place guest security at the top of our list when it comes to introducing new security measures in the parks,” stated Joe Fox, a Disney spokesperson. Mr. Fox continued, “We have decided to give our guests a two week notice in order to allow for guests to rearrange their plans. In addition, we are offering a $.50 per bottle discount on all waters purchased in the parks to help defer any costs to our guests for the next year.”

As always, guests are welcome to ask for a glass of water, at no cost, at any quick service location, as well as enjoy any one of the chilled water fountains throughout the parks.

Further security plans will be released throughout April as they gear up for a Disney Summer!

So Many Cool Adventures Coming Your Way at Disney

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I am so excited to hear the new adventures coming your way at the Disney Parks and Resorts. Not only will we be getting a Star Wars Land in Florida, but also one in California. Bringing Star Wars to life will be a huge expansion for the Disney and Star Wars partnership.

Coming next year will be an all new Sorin’ Over The World. This magical journey will add to the Sorin’ Over California adventure in both parks.

Toy Story Land will be making a big expansion to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. With the current expansion of Toy Story Mania opening later this year, we can expect lots of cool adventures to come, including an Andy sized room where you are made to feel like a toy.

Disney will continue to integrate the Marvel brand into the parks as they are working on an Iron Man ride.

Of course, lets not forget the coming Avatar Land opening in the coming years. This high tech adventure will make you feel like you are on Pandora.

Festival Of The Lion King Returns Today June 1 To Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Lion King Returns To Animal Kingdom

The long awaited return of the popular Festival of the Lion King to Disney’s Animal Kingdom happens today June 1st. After closing earlier this year to make way for the new Pandora themed land coming in 2015 to replace Camp Minnie Mickey, The Festival Of The Lion King will reopen its doors in the brand new Harambe Theatre located near the Kilimanjaro Safaris in Africa. This beautiful new theater located directly behind Tusker House Restaurant will be a completely indoor theater that will provide year around enjoyment for guests seeing the most popular show at Walt Disney World.

FastPass+ reservations are now available on your My Disney Experience.

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Look At The New Festival Of The Lion King Theater

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Festival Of The Lion King Get A First Look At The New Harambe Theatre

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I remember the days of working this show in the old Camp Minnie Mickey theater, where we were subject to the whims of the weather. Rain through the ceiling, wind through the open sides, bright daylight washing out the lighting, no air conditioning… It is so nice to see this great show move into a new theater where guests can see the show like it was meant to be.

Watch as the Cast of the Festival Of The Lion King check out the new Harambe Theatre.

Celebrate The Night With Tall Tales and Tastes Of Africa During Harambe Nights At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Gather together to fill the air with the magic of the African Night with Simba as you celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the release of the Disney classic animated film The Lion King.

The night starts off with a Welcome Reception in Harambe Village where you take in appetizers and African-inspired wine and beer. The venture off to the Harambe Theatre to take in the ‘mane’ event. Set in the new home of the Festival of the Lion King, “The Lion King – Concert in the Wild” will take you places never before seen in the Animal Kingdom as a live orchestra, choir, dances and a digitally projected movie combine with special lighting effects to set the stage for telling of Simba’s journey to find his place as the Lion King. Narrated by a special celebrity guest narrator, this emotional journey will be one you will never forget.

Schedule of Narrators are as follows:

  • June 7 – Viola Davis: “The Help,” “Ender’s Game”
  • June 14 – TBD
  • June 21 – Montego Glover: “The Following,” “Memphis”
  • June 28 – David Alan Grier: “Porgy & Bess,” “In Living Color”
  • July 5 – Michael Beach: “ER,” “Third Watch,” “Sons of Anarchy”
  • July 12 – Harry Lennix: “The Blacklist,” “The Five Heartbeats”
  • July 19 – Joe Morton: “Scandal,” “American Gangster,” “The Good Wife”
  • July 26 – Alfre Woodard: “Desperate Housewives,” “Miss Evers Boys”
  • August 2 – Brian Stokes Mitchell: “Ragtime,” “Trapper John, M.D.,” “Glee”
  • August 9 – Patina Miller: “Pippin,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”

After the show you will enjoy a street party filled with music, characters and live performers. Go will as you enjoy an all inclusive buffet fill with African cuisine and gourmet desserts.

Harambe Nights

Harambe Nights takes place each Saturday night from June 7 – August 9, 2014, with the welcome reception starting at 7 PM and a 7:30 PM showtime. Prices are $119 for adults, $79 for ages 3-9, plus tax. Premium floor seating is available for $134 for adults and $94 ages 3-9. Capacity is limited. Book online at DisneyWorld.com/HarambeNights or call 407-939-1319.

* Entertainment subject to change.

Look At The New Festival Of The Lion King Theater

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Here is a first look at the new Harambe Theatre where the Festival of the Lion King will be performing. Slated to open in June, the new theater will be a welcome new addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. One of my jobs as a Cast Member was to work the Festival of the Lion King when the theater was still open. They then added curtains to help with the lighting effects and rain, but then finally closed in the theater to add air conditioning. One of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World, The Festival of the Lion King was originally slated to be a temporary show. In the original plans for Animal Kingdom, a dragon and fantasy land type area was slated for where Camp Minnie Mickey was built. The Dueling Dragon roller coaster over at Islands of Adventure was slated to be in this land, but with a tight budget they were forced to ax this fantasy land and put in a less expensive show. Now the original plans will become more complete as they add Pandora where Camp Minnie Mickey once stood and move The Festival of the Lion King to a new indoor theater next to the safari.

We look for the show to return early June as they have Harambe Nights slated to start June 7.

Rivers Of Light Shining Soon At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

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Disney has released a concept of the new nighttime spectacular at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This show like no other on property will combine, water, light, huge projection screens, floating lanterns and a grand musical score like no other.

Rivers of Light will be performed on the Discovery River, between Discovery Island and Expedition Everest. ROL will be a great nighttime feature to cap off the guests experience.

Rivers of Light is the latest announcement in the huge Animal Kingdom expansion with will include a new location for Festival of the Lion King, opening later this summer, a new parade and Avartar Land, opening some time in 2015. This major expansion to Animal Kingsom will continue the grand Walt Disney World expansion which has currently hit a large milestone with the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the New Fantasyland Expansion.

Disney’s Birthday Present To Me, A New Parade At The Magic Kingdom

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Walt Disney World has announced the opening date of the new Magic Kingdom Festival of Fantasy parade. Scheduled to make its premier on March 9th at 3 O’Clock, this amazing parade will capture your imagination and allow it to take flight. Take a look at some of the great new costumes designed by Mirena Rada and the new floats as they arrived in the Magic Kingdom. We’re definitely looking forward to my birthday present coming in just a few short days, although I’m not too excited about turning another year oldder.

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade will come to a close at Disney’s Animal Kingdom making way for Avartarland

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle ParadeDisney has made it official that in June 2014 Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle parade will have it’s last performance. This closure will make way for Avartarland which broke ground earlier this year. Disney says that the construction of Avartarland will get in the way of the parade. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle parade is the latest in the line of changes at the Animal Kingdom. Earlier this year Festival of the Lion King closed as it is waiting on construction of it’s new digs near Kilimanjaro Safari in Africa. In addition, Camp Minnie-Mickey has closed permanently.

Pandora is set to make its debut in 2017 and will include a nighttime spectacular similar to The World Of Color at The California Adventure at Disneyland in California. You have a few months left to catch this 13 year tradition before its gone forever.