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Sing Along with the Madrigal Family at CommuniCore Plaza at EPCOT

by Mommy Frog on March 22, 2024 Orlando

Hi there! Welcome to our weekly roundup of the most interesting theme park news around the Walt Disney World Resort, the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and other theme parks.

CommuniCore Plaza - Celebración Encanto

  • We've been eagerly awaiting the completion of EPCOT's transformation ... so we're beyond thrilled to share that we finally know when that will be hoppening! CommuniCore Hall and Plaza will open June 10, 2024, in all its geometric glory. This innovative (see what I did there, Disney history nerds?) new space will be home to the iconic EPCOT festivals and other celebrations, as well as a new greeting location for Mickey & Friends! But that's not all ... warm up your vocal cords because, from June 10 to Sept. 6, 2024, a new limited-time sing-along show, "¡Celebración Encanto!," will run several times throughout the day at the newly opened CommuniCore Plaza stage. Get ready to join the fiesta and party with Mirabel and Bruno Madrigal!
  • Drones will be lighting up the night sky this summer at Disney Springs! Grab some Salt & Straw ice cream, gaze upward and "think of a wonderful thought" because "Disney Dreams That Soar," a state-of-the-art drone show, will be playing over Disney Springs' West Side nightly from May 24 to Sept. 2, 2024. Featuring beautiful designs and a "soaring" musical score, this nighttime spectacular will showcase Disney stories celebrating the "joy of flight."
  • Oh, Joy! We're so hoppy to report that the head honcho of Riley's mind herself will be appearing in Pixar Plaza at Disney's Hollywood Studios, starting June 10, 2024. Don't froget to make some core memories by snapping a selfie in a cute new photo space. Also, if you're thinking about stretching your wardrobe, check out the new Pixar styles at Beverly Sunset Boutique that will surely make Edna Mode proud.

CommuniCore Plaza - Timon and Rafiki

  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park will celebrate the great "circle of life" this summer. From June 10 to Sept. 6, 2024, Disney's wildest theme park is decking out in its Pride Lands best to commemorate the 30th anniversary of "The Lion King" animated film. Get ready to shop a whole new merchandise collection and taste some special new menu items. Timon and Pumbaa's request for bugs were turned down but, as they say, "Hakuna matata!" Pumbaa has his own popcorn bucket you can purchase throughout the park and Timon will be joined by Rafiki for a meet-and-greet at Rafiki's Planet Watch. While you're there, visit Animation Experience and learn how to draw characters from "The Lion King"!
  • We at the Frog Pond always start leaping with joy whenever we hear the word "D23!" We're particularly frogcited this week because Disney announced new details (including tickets and pricing) for the biennial D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event that will be taking place in Anaheim from Aug. 9-11, 2024. Prepare for a flood of thrilling announcements on Aug. 10 when Josh D'Amaro, the Chairman of Disney Experiences at The Walt Disney Company, hosts the Disney Experience Showcase, highlighting new and anticipated projects around the world for Disney parks, experiences and beyond. Keep your eyes peeled on the blog because we'll be sure to report everything!
  • Disneyland Park's Critter Country is about to get a little more green. Starting May 1, 2024, the beloved land will temporarily close to make way for two reimagined retail stores that will further immerse you in our favorite froggy princess' story. The Briar Patch will transform into Ray's Berets, a cozy cabin where you can shop for headwear, apparel, accessories, toys and more. The left-hand side of Pooh Corner will become Louis' Critter Club, a local hot spot where you can shop for apparel, accessories, home decor and more, featuring your fave bayou residents. The treats side of Pooh Corner will remain as a destination for must-have merchandise from the Hundred Acre Wood. As Mama Odie said, "This gonna be good!"

CommuniCore Plaza - Fire of the Rising Moons

  • We finally have some news on what we can expect over on Batuu when Season of the Force lands at Disneyland Park this spring. Prepare to "ignite the spark" because on select nights starting April 5, 2024, "Fire of the Rising Moons" will illuminate the skies over Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. View Disneyland fireworks like never before with an iconic musical accompaniment featuring selections from composer John Williams. Dock your starship at Black Spire Spaceport, the TIE Echelon docking platform or the speeder garage for the best views. Be sure to don your MagicBand+ as it will add to the ceremony's atmosphere with colorful lights and ambient vibrations. For more info on Season of the Force, including the Hyperspace Mountain ride overlay, merch, food and photo-ops, hop over to our guide.
  • A brand-new ship is joining the Disney Cruise Line fleet ... and we truly believe it'll "go the distance"! Say hello to the Disney Destiny (sister to the Disney Wish and Disney Treasure), a first-of-its-kind cruise ship celebrating Disney's heroes and villains. "Be prepared" to encounter the worst of the worst and best of the best as opposing forces of light and dark drive characters to rise to their purpose. This ship will draw on the legacies of beloved Disney stories, such as "The Lion King," "Hercules" and "One Hundred and One Dalmatians." For more details, hop over to our Disney Destiny guide.

CommuniCore Plaza - SeaWorld 60th Desserts

  • From now until March 24, 2024, SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego and SeaWorld San Antonio are hosting their fintastic 60th Anniversary celebrations! Join Park President, Jon Peterson, Chief Park Operations Officer, Byron Surrett, and Park President Jodi Davenport, respectively, each morning as they welcome guests at the front of the park with commemorative décor, photo-ops and more. Be sure to taste exclusive 60th Anniversary culinary additions and shop limited-edition retro-inspired merchandise. Additionally, on the East Coast, don't froget to snap a photo with Shamu & Crew as they surface for the first time in recent years!

That's it for theme park news this week.

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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