After providing monthly Walt Disney World News & Rumours updates for the last 18 months, we missed providing an update in July. We were just too busy having fun in Orlando to publish our regular review. However, we are back with our Walt Disney World News & Rumors August 2019 including Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, more price increases, Toledo – Tapas, Steaks & Seafood, and all the latest from Epcot. Plus could the Big Walt Disney World for August 2019 be the opening of a 5th Park?
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Update
It is not long now until Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Hollywood Studios. August 29 is the official opening date of the most anticipated new land in Walt Disney World History.
As you are probably aware, the whole land will not be opening in August with Rise of the Resistance not scheduled to be open until later this year. An opening date for Rise of the Resistance has now been confirmed, and it is December 5, 2019. Surprisingly Disneyland will not be getting its own version opening until January 17 2020.
FastPass will not be available within Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on opening. However, it is anticipated a virtual queue will be in use similar to that currently being used in Disneyland.
However, reservations are now permitted for the following attractions:
More Walt Disney World Price Increases
It seems every month we advise of further increases to prices at Walt Disney World. Recently there have been the following increases:-
Walt Disney World Resort Parking
It wasn’t long ago that you didn’t have to pay for parking at Walt Disney World resorts. However, for reservations made June 18, 2019, and thereafter for arrivals in 2020 the new prices are:
- Disney Value Resorts: $15 per night
- Disney Moderate Resorts: $20 per night
- Disney Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts: $25 per night
Annual Pass Increase
There have been significant price increases to Walt Disney World Annual Passes. Increases for some passes have been as high as 25%. The latest prices are available on the Walt Disney World Website.
Reusable Shopping Bags
Walt Disney World has committed to reducing plastic waste. One aspect of this is reducing the use of single-use carrier bags and the offer of purchasing reusable shopping bags at a “nominal fee”.
If Disney is committed to reducing plastic waste it does seem a strange strategy to increase the cost of reusable shopping bags. It seems even stranger to have increased them by as much as 100%.
Bags are now $2.00 for small, $2.50 for medium, and $3.00 for large. Previously small bags cost just $1.
Toledo – Tapas, Steaks & Seafood
Toledo – Tapas, Steaks & Seafood is now open at the new Gran Destino Tower at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. We recently visited the restaurant and you can read our review here.
This is one restaurant you will not want to kiss at Walt Disney World!
NBA Experience Grand Opening
It seems to have taken forever for the NBA Experience to open on the site of the former Disney Quest. However, it is now open and they even broadcasted the opening ceremony.
Disney Skyliner Opening Date
It had been anticipated that the Skyliner would open in time for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. On our recent visit, the majority of construction seemed complete. However, the opening date has now been confirmed as September 29, 2019.
Initially, we were not convinced over the wisdom of building the Skyliner. However, having seen it in operation it does appear incredibly efficient method of moving large numbers of guests.
Epcot Future World Renovations
The changes to Future World will be developing at pace throughout this winter. Expect major announcements on the changes coming to Epcot at the D23 Expo this month.
To facilitate this there are going to be several closures and relocations of current attractions at Epcot. Changes we are are aware of include:
- Innoventions East, Colortopia and Nanooze Break are scheduled to close on September 8, 2019.
- The Fountain of Nations will close on September 8th
- Fountain View featuring Starbucks will close on November 23, 2019. It is expected to be relocated but a destination has not yet been announced.
- Electric Umbrella is scheduled to close on November 23rd.
- Mouse Gear will move to a temporary home this winter while its current location is reimagined.
- Art of Disney, Club Cool & Pin Central will all temporarily close while being relocated. No venue has been confirmed for Club Cool yet.
- The Camera Center will permanently close.
- The Art of Disney will move to Heritage Manor.
- Pin Central will move into the current Camera Center.
- The Epcot Character Spot will temporarily close—beginning on September 8, 2019
During renovations, many characters will be relocated including those currently meeting at the Character Spot:
- Minnie Mouse will move into the World Showcase Gazebo.
- Daisy Duck will move to The American Adventure.
- While new locations are being developed for Mickey Mouse and Goofy, they will temporarily appear in Innoventions West.
- In the near future, Mickey Mouse will move to an all-new location in the Imagination! Pavilion.
- Goofy & Joy will have new permanent locations to be announced.
Hollywood Studios FastPass Tiers
We have already updated our guide to Hollywood Studios FastPass with the latest information. However, in case, you missed it from August 29 the following will be Tier 1 Attractions:
- Slinky Dog Dash
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Toy Story Mania!
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Everything else will be in Tier 2. Unfortunately, you will only be able to book one Tier 1 attraction in advance. Apart from Star Tours, all the most popular attractions are in Tier 1.
There will be no FastPass selections available for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attractions on opening. However, it is likely they will be added at a later date.
We suspect that there will be additional changes made to FastPass at Hollywood Studios in 2019 and certainly following the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in early 2020.
Tron Coaster Construction Update
Ziggy has been looking over fences again! He has published another fantastic update on the construction of the Tron Coaster.
Is a Big Announcement Coming?
It seems unlikely we will get announcements surrounding the fabled 5th gate, but the upcoming D23 Expo is likely to provide more information on Epcot Renovations and what we can expect during Walt Disney World’s 50th Birthday Celebrations.
Expect the big announcements to come on Sunday, August 25, at 10:30 a.m. Bob Chapek, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products will be providing “more details on much-anticipated attractions, experiences, and transformative storytelling that set Disney apart”.
We will be back with another Walt Disney World News & Rumours update in September. If you have missed any of our previous updates you can find them all here.