Plus…Jingle Cruise sets sail in Adventureland, Update on Grand Floridian and Polynesian Villas, and more!
by Don Myers
The Holiday season is upon us, and the Vacation Kingdom of the World has been decorated from head to toe to honor the occasion. From the Streets of America to Main Street USA and all points between, the spirit of the season is in the air. Several traditional Holiday favorites have triumphantly returned, and there’s a few new additions in the mix this year as well. So let’s get to it. Time for the latest edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…..
We begin this edition of the WDW Radio Newswire inside Magic Kingdom, where the transition into the Holiday season is well underway. Wreaths, lights, and garland drape Main Street USA in a Christmas Winter Wonderland. The 2013 incarnation of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is underway, as the hard ticket event kicked off on Friday November 8th. The party will run on select nights from now until Friday December 20th. But that’s not all, as the Holiday edition of the Celebrate the Magic projection show has now begun its run at Cinderella Castle. The special edition of the projection show debuted on Wednesday November 6th, and it will run nightly throughout the remainder of the Holiday season.
For more Holiday news out of Magic Kingdom, let’s follow the bridge over to Adventureland where we find a beloved attraction has received a special makeover for the Holiday season. On Friday November 8th Guests discovered that the Jungle Cruise had been transformed into the “Jingle Cruise!” From the queue to the jokes and even the boats themselves, the entire attraction experience has been completely transformed for the Holiday season. The premise is that the skippers have become homesick so they’ve decided to add a little Christmas cheer to make things feel more like home. The boats have been re-named and festively decorated. Holiday music can be heard playing softly on the radio. New jokes have also been added in, providing Guests with a whole new experience of the popular attraction. I for one think this is a fantastic idea, although the concept is not a new one at WDW. Years ago, a Holiday edition of the Country Bear Jamboree used to run at this time of year over in Frontierland. The Holiday show hasn’t played at Grizzly Hall since 2005, but if the Jingle Cruise proves popular we may see other attractions follow suite for future Holiday seasons.
Let’s park-hop over to Hollywood Studios now, as the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights has made its 2013 debut. The show has been delighting Guests at the Studios since 1995, as this will be the nineteenth consecutive year of operation for the light spectacular. The Streets of America have played host to the Osborne lights since 2004, and the area has been blanketed yet again from head to toe with colorful blinking lights. This year’s edition kicked off on Friday November 8th, and is scheduled to conclude on Sunday January 5th.
There’s more news to report out of Hollywood Studios, and this one has to do with an all-new quick service dining spot. On Wednesday October 30th, the Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge opened up. Located in the patio area of the Hollywood Brown Derby Restaurant, the lounge offers up several delicious quick service snack and drink options to choose from. You’ll find menu items like Brown Derby Sliders, Brown Derby Shrimp Cocktail, Duck Confit Tacos, Prince Edward Island Mussels, and more. And if you don’t see anything you like on the lounge menu, you have the option of ordering up something from the full Brown Derby Restaurant menu. The Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge is a fantastic idea, as it offers up a Brown Derby dining experience at a fraction of the cost of dining at the restaurant itself. It also offers up a Brown Derby dining experience to those who don’t wish to be constricted with a dining reservation, as reservations are not required at the lounge.
Time to venture out of the parks now as there’s news to report on a pair of Disney Vacation Club Villa projects. Our first stop takes us over to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, where the new Grand Floridian Villas recently opened up. The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Wednesday October 23rd, with Mickey and Minnie Mouse personally on hand to witness the momentous occasion. The new DVC wing of the Grand Floridian comes equipped with a swimming pool, private cabanas, children’s water play area, and a beautiful lobby canter pieced by an elegant bronze statue themed after the popular Disney film “Mary Poppins.” The DVC wing offers up four different villa choices. The first option is the Deluxe Studio, which sleeps up to five Guests. The second option is the One-Bedroom Villa which also accommodates up to five Guests. The Two-Bedroom Villa is the next option available and this one can accommodate up to nine Guests. The fourth option is the Grand Villa. This spacious beauty can sleep up to twelve Guests, and it comes equipped with a media room where inside you’ll find your own private home theater system! Click here for more information on rates, availability, and reservations for the Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Our final stop today takes us across Seven Seas Lagoon over to the shores of Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Construction fences sprung up shortly after confirmation of the DVC expansion went public back in September, and last week saw the beginning of the ground clearing process for the new DVC Villa wing. The area around Sunset Pointe has been virtually flattened, as this land, as well as areas around the Tahiti and Rapu Nui longhouses will be the site of the new villas. The expansion is slated for completion in 2015, and when the villas open they will offer up a whole new lodging experience at one of WDW’s original Resorts!
Well, that’s gonna do it for today’s update. But before we call it a wrap, let’s take a look at the results of our previous poll. The question was:
Which recent Disney film would you like to see become a future WDW attraction?
. The Princess and the Frog
. Cars 2
And the winner is…..
Tangled with 39% of the votes! Brave finished second with 24% of the votes, and the Princess and the Frog rounded out the Top 3 with 14% of the total vote. Cars 2 and Planes brought up the back of the pack, finishing in a fourth place tie with 8% each. We even had a write-in vote for Wreck-It Ralph! Once again a big thank you to everyone that took the time to vote! And now on to this week’s question:
All images copyright Disney.
Don Myers covers news and recent events in Walt Disney World. He has been enamored with the World of Disney since his first trip to WDW in 1986. As they say, the rest is history! Don also has been a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine since 2009.