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Rafiki’s Planet Watch Is Reopening Soon & Other Disney News This Week

Every week I gather the latest news from Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, and other Disney parks to help you keep up with all of the changes. Here is the most recent Disney news for the week of March 18-March 24, 2019:

1. Rafiki’s Planet Watch Is Reopening…

It’s official: Rafiki’s Planet Watch at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will reopen this summer after a long refurbishment with brand new enhancements, including a celebration of The Lion King.

2. New Film Is Coming To Epcot

A film called Awesome Planet will soon find a home at The Land pavilion in Epcot. According to Disney Parks Blog, the film “showcases the spectacular beauty, diversity and dynamic story of our earth with all the grandeur guests have come to expect” and will feature “spectacular nature photography, immersive in-theater effects, and space sequences.”

3. Walt Disney World Ticket Prices Increase

This was announced awhile ago, but I forgot to include it in last week’s news roundup. So, in case you weren’t aware, Walt Disney World ticket prices were recently increased. Head on over to WDWMagic.com for a complete breakdown of the new prices.

4. Briar Rose Gold Collection Is Debuting Soon

Yet another new collection is coming to Walt Disney World — the Briar Rose Gold Collection. The collection debuts at Disney World on April 1 and includes ears, a Spirit Jersey, a tumbler, and more. FYI: those who still want to purchase the original Rose Gold Mouse ears, hurry up, because by the end of March they will disappear from parks completely.

5. Hollywood Studios’ Parking Lots Update

Another new change has recently gone into effect at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — the parking lot sections have been renamed after characters visitors can encounter inside the park. The previously mentioned characters include Mickey, Minnie, Jessie, Buzz, Olaf, and BB-8. Furthermore, there are also now two additional bus loops for Disney resort buses.

6. A Big Change For Those Magic Kingdom Bricks

The “Disney’s Walk Around the World” bricks near Magic Kingdom Park and the Transportation and Ticket Center will soon be retired in the coming months. Anyone who sponsored a brick will not be able to take the original home since the bricks can’t be removed individually. However, guests can purchase a commemorative version between now and Aug. 31, 2019, or while supplies last. Here’s how those who sponsored a brick can get a souvenir one:

-Go to either City Hall at Magic Kingdom Park or Guest Relations at Disney Springs to verify your previous brick by sharing the name and hometown of the person who sponsored it. You will then be given a one-time use voucher you must present by or before Aug. 31  at Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. in Magic Kingdom (the gift shop you enter after exiting Space Mountain) or the Marketplace Co-Op at Disney Springs. You can then purchase a 6″ souvenir brick for only $10, plus tax.

-For those who need to contact Disney virtually, you can either send an email to guest.services@disneyworld.com or call 407-828-2701 with the name and hometown of the guest who sponsored the brick. Once verified, you will be given a code that you must use by or before Aug. 31 on shopDisney.com to purchase one commemorative 6” brick for only $10, plus tax and shipping, starting this spring.

If you didn’t sponsor a brick, you can still purchase a commemorative brick souvenir! Here’s how:

-You can customize and purchase a brick starting at $29.99, plus tax and optional shipping, at Tomorrowland Light & Power Co., the Marketplace Co-Op, or on shopDisney.com starting this spring.

7. Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy Adds Dance Party

On March 31, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy will officially debut at Hollywood Studios. Well, two new exciting additions to the show were recently announced. First, guests will be able to meet Cruz Ramirez in the courtyard outside Sunset Showcase. Secondly, there will be a new dance party with games featuring Lightning McQueen’s Pit Crew and DJ called “DJ’s Ready! Set! Party Time!” The dance party will occur several times daily.

8. Tickets Now On Sale For Disneyland Pop-Up Event

Tickets are officially on sale for Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration, which opens on April 26, 2019 in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District. Tickets costs $30 and includes five hours of complimentary parking. The limited-time event includes rooms inspired by Mickey Mouse filled with different magical photo ops for you to enjoy and, obviously, take photos with. There will also be themed-merchandise, including Spirit Jerseys and popcorn buckets, artist collections, and special treats. Click here to purchase tickets.

9. New Superhero Experience Coming To Disney Parks

At both Disney California Adventure park at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, an immersive and interactive superhero experience is coming that will allow guests to join superheroes in action and feel what it’s like to have their abilities thanks to a new organization called the Worldwide Engineering Brigade, aka WEB. As described by Disney Parks Blog, “Though WEB is grounded in classic characters like Peter Parker, it is an organization that we can all be a part of — one that invites us to engage with these iconic heroes like never before.” Speaking of Spider-Man, he will also soon debut a new suit at DCA, like the one he’s been spotted wearing at Walt Disney Studios Park.

That’s it for Disney news from this past week. I’ll continue to collect park updates, so be sure to keep your eyes open for my weekly news post!

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