Walt Disney World

Grand Avenue Revealed at Disney's Hollywood Studios

With Hurricane Irma approaching, guests get an unexpected sneak peek through the construction fence.

Walt Disney World is taking no chances with Hurricane Irma as it barrels towards Orlando. A few weeks back I wrote this piece about how Grand Avenue had been hidden in plain sight for months. One of the unexpected benefits of the impending storm came by way of the partial removal of decorative construction scrims. The area that surrounds the old Streets of America, to the left of Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant used to look like this on Wednesday.. 

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Once the park opened on Thursday, things looked a bit different. And very grand.

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 Interesting enough, this gate is directly across from the Muppet Vision 3D gate - between Star Tours and Gonzo's Royal Flush Restrooms.

Interesting enough, this gate is directly across from the Muppet Vision 3D gate - between Star Tours and Gonzo's Royal Flush Restrooms.

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That about wraps things up for this area. Keep checking back for more updates on the progress of Grand Avenue

 

The Orange Bird Funko Pop! arrives on September 8th at Walt Disney World

Thinking of grabbing something sunny from Walt Disney World? The Orange Bird Funko Pop! is the answer.

 

Back in 1970, a deal was struck between the Florida Citrus Commission and the Walt Disney Company for a character to be created that would become the mascot for the Citrus Commission, and in turn, they would sponsor an attraction at the soon to be opening Magic Kingdom park. The character that was created was "The Orange Bird" and soon after you were able to find merchandise, a meet and greet character, an infection song written by the Sherman Brothers and sung by Anita Bryant and even a delicious treat called the Citrus Swirl available at the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland.

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At some point in the mid 80's the little orange bird was gone, and somewhat forgotten. But in recent years there's been a resurgence of the little guy. Tokyo Disneyland discovered him in the early 2000's and a new wave of merchandise flooded the shelves both internationally and domestically. It was only a matter of time before Funko took notice, and a few months back an image leaked on reddit showing off a prototype.

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 This was the only image we had to speculate on, and it was all we had heard of this mysterious vinyl images and a release date started surfacing online earlier today. The Disney Parks Exclusive Pop! vinyl toy is expected to drop on Friday, September 8th and will only be available at Walt Disney World in two locations.

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Look for this little guy at one of the following locations;

  • Pin Traders at Disney Springs
  • Pirate's Bazaar at the Magic Kingdom

Assuming that the Orange Bird is the WDW equivalent to Disneyland's Abominable Snowman Funko Pop, you can read about it HERE, this collectible might only be available at the resort. No official word has been given if it will be available for purchase on the Shop Disney Parks app.

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With the huge fan base that follows Funko, along with the vintage Disney community who eat up all things Orange Bird - myself included, plan on a complete sell out. Given the track record of Disney Park Exclusive funko Pops! like Indiana Jones, The Matterhorn's Abominable Snowman & Jolly Roger from Pirates of the Caribbean.. chances are he's also a closed edition and once they sell out, he'll be vaulted. If any updates escape the sunshine tree, I'll be passing those along to all of you.

Exclusive "Jolly Roger" Funko Pop invades the Disney Parks

With this is the summer being the 50th celebration of the classic attraction at Disneyland, and the new Pirates of the Caribbean film, Funko has once again teamed up with Disney for an exclusive collectible under their POP! vinyl line.

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The Jolly Roger (#258) was released on May 5th in select locations at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and the Shop Disney Parks app - but quickly sold out within hours. It's now slowly making its way back onto shelves so if you're headed to the parks and looking to add this little guy to your collection.. now's the time. No word yet on when/if he'll be available again for purchase online. 

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On the back of the box you'll find this description; 

 ["Set sail on a swashbuckling voyage to a long-forgotten time and place when pirates wrought havoc on the high seas. 

On your treacherous voyage through the 17th century, you'll come face-to-face with the rowdy rogues who ruled many a seaport town under the watchful eye of "Jolly Roger"]

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The figurine retails for $19.99 but for collectors like myself.. it's a priceless addition. 

Groot takes over the Disney Parks this summer.

Three words, that's all it took;

"I am groot."

It was that single line (repeated over and over) from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film that captured the attention of audiences everywhere and became an iconic catchphrase overnight. The world fell in love with Groot as an aduly, but when baby Groot appeared.. he stole everyones hearts and solidified his mark as the breakaway character.

Luckily for all of us, the folks over at the Disney Parks took notice (thanks guys & gals) and there's a whole lot of Groot coming your way this summer at the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World.

Let's start off with California, and their "Summer of Heroes" campaign which kicks off May 27th.

The big deal with this is the reimagining of the "Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" attraction into Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. The basics are this; The Tower of Terror is no more, its gone - along with all of it's theming. In it's place you'll find a fortress claimed by Taneleer Tivan, or as we remember him.. The Collector. His towering citadel holds the largest assemblage of fauna, relics and species from across the cosmos - and from the looks of this artwork released by Disney.. The Guardians have been procured as well.

 Artistic renderings of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.                            Images courtesy of Disney

Artistic renderings of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout.                           Images courtesy of Disney

Now the attraction won't officially open until May 27th, so there's still loads of info about this attraction that's being floated around. Obviously it will use some of the same effects as Tower of Terror did, especially the coordinated drops in the elevator shaft - and some early reports are saying there's spectacularly crafted animatronic you'll encounter. Is this true? We'll have to wait a few more days. What we could begin to guess is that with the addition of this attraction, we'll start to see more Marvel characters making a presence beyond the meet & greets. 

Speaking of meet & greets, that brings us to the next part of this article. Once the Summer of Heroes begins at Disney California Adventure, guests will be able to encounter Star-Lord and Gamora during the Awesome Dance Off and for the first time ever, attempt to selfie with adult Groot. That lovable hunk of treebark will make his debut in all his grandeur and honestly.. it's probably going to be one of the coolest things you'll ever see, and characters you'll ever meet.

 While Star-Lord & Gamora won't have the opportunity for individual meet & greet opportunities, they'll still be able to entertain guests during the Awesome Dance Off.   

While Star-Lord & Gamora won't have the opportunity for individual meet & greet opportunities, they'll still be able to entertain guests during the Awesome Dance Off.   

Moving over to the east coast, Walt Disney World has also gotten in on the action by showing some love to the franchise. At Hollywood Studios there's a meet & greet already in place located inside One Man's Dream. It's there you'll find Baby Groot (from vol. 2) hanging out and interacting with Star-Lord. You read that right. Both characters have set up shop and appear together daily.

Now you can't have this amazing experience without walking away without a sweet souvenir, can you? Nope. Once again, the Disney Parks outdid themselves by offering this Baby Groot sipper cup. It has a removable lid, his arms move up and down when you walk, and it's pretty darn spectacular. This mug is currently only available at popcorn carts inside Hollywood Studios, and it's become a new "must have" item. 

 This little guy also comes with your choice of beverage.

This little guy also comes with your choice of beverage.

So if you're looking to amplify your fix on all things Guardians this summer, and have a love affair with Groot.. head on over to the Disney Parks on either coast. Sure the Disneyland Resort may have a new attraction and an epic Meet & Greet lineup (Captain America, Spider-Man, Black Widow - just to name a few) but Walt Disney World has baby Groot - and for now, that's an absolute dream come true for most of us out there. 

Sharing a Coke just became extra magical at the Disney Parks

We've all seen those random names on Coca-Cola bottles in beverage coolers across the country, and within the last few weeks, both Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort have stepped into the customized name game. 

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Guests can now find one of three exclusive #ShareaCoke expressions written across 20oz bottles of Classic Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero;

- Share a Coke on Main Street

- Share a Diet Coke at the Castle

- Share a Coke Zero on Space Mountain

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Each expression is assigned to it's designated bottle, so you won't find "Main Street" on a Diet Coke bottle - or any other combinations. It's one of those what you see is what you get scenarios. 

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 Images courtesy of  @disneylandaily  &  @crownedcyn  on Instagram  

Images courtesy of @disneylandaily & @crownedcyn on Instagram  

For right now it appears that these select 3 expressions are the only ones currently available. If there's more to come later on the year, I'll be sure to keep you updated .

Oswald greets Ortensia to the world of Disney Parks Merchandise

Long long ago before there ever was a Mickey & Minnie, the world had Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and his wife Ortensia the Cat. Now, you'll be able to take home this adorable couple and add them to your collection. Where the 9" Oswald plush toy has been available for quite some time, the Ortensia 9" plush toy has just recently become available.

The story of Oswald and the Disney Company is a tale for another time. Its history is long and complex, but I'll touch on that subject in another post later on. But for now, you can bring home yours today, both are available around the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland.