DVC Resale Market’s Disney Parks News for May 2019
We are less than one month away from the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland! This is not a drill! It’s go time, people, and since the most exciting themed land in Disney history is almost here, park officials have released a few tantalizing details about how to visit Black Spire Outpost. Shockingly, we have a lot more news than just the Star Wars Land stuff, though. Let’s get you brought up to speed with Disney Vacation Club news for May of 2019.
Star Wars Land Reservations
As previously announced, Disneyland guests can’t just walk into Galaxy’s Edge. To keep traffic control in check, park officials will require free reservations for entry into Star Wars Land. This process will last from the park’s opening on May 31st until at least June 24th, although Disney reserves the right to extend the requirement.
How do you book these free reservations? On May 2nd at 8 a.m. PST, Disney will reveal details on how to book these reservations, which will then become available at 10 a.m. To give yourself the best chance at getting a reservation, you should sign up for a Disneyland account, presuming that you haven’t already done so. And yes, May 2nd is tomorrow. The time is almost now!
Speaking of Star Wars Land, Disney finally addressed one pressing issue about the themed land. Imagineers have stressed their desire to maintain full immersion on Batuu. Observers had wondered how Disney would handle coke products and other drinks, which have distinctive packaging that reminds people that they haven’t left Earth.
Disney has a plan for this. They have created special packaging for all of their beverages that will be on sale at Star Wars Land. Your Coke bottle won’t look like any that you’ve ever had before. The products are so distinctive that a temporary after-market may arise on eBay and other sites. Guests who cannot travel to Disneyland or Walt Disney World this year may still want a Star Wars Coke bottle.
Festival Dates Announced
One of the best parts of being a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) member is that you can take advantage of the festivals at Epcot’s World Showcase. They’ve become an annual tradition for many DVC owners. So, the festival dates are one of the most essential Disney announcements of the year.
The good news for 2019 is that the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival will be the longest one ever. It will run from August 29th through November 23rd. In fact, it’ll remain open so long that the Eat to the Beat! concert series will close before the festival does. The last day for Eat to the Beat! is November 19th.
Disney will need to prepare the America Gardens Theatre space there for the Candlelight Processional, which returns on November 29th. Speaking of which, this event is an integral part of a different festival. The 2019 Epcot International Festival of the Holidays returns on November 29th and will remain through December 30th.
Yes, Epcot will host World Showcase festivals from August 29th through December 30th this year, save for November 24th through November 28th. In other words, don’t book those dates for your late-year DVC trip. Otherwise, you’ll get to eat the tastiest food at Walt Disney World while watching some spectacular (and free!) concert performances.
Speaking of Annual Events…
Due to the impending arrival of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, park officials want to lock down as much information as possible about expected fall/winter traffic. That’s why they’re announcing so many events earlier than usual. We even know the dates for everyone’s favorite end-of-year ticketed event.
Tickets are now on sale for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. The joyous yuletide celebration starts on November 8th and runs through December 22nd. As always, Christmas week at the Magic Kingdom will include some of the same events free of charge. Some DVC members prefer to visit at this time of year instead. It’s a cost-saving measure, albeit a much more crowded time.
We also learned a bit more about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party this month. For the first time in 14 years, HalloWishes will not be the nighttime fireworks presentation. It’s being replaced by an as-yet-unnamed show. Here are the details that Disney released on the Parks Blog.
“This new show will feature state-of-the-art projection effects, lasers, lighting and dazzling fireworks that come together to tell a not-so-scary story about how anything can happen on Halloween night. The show will take guests along on a trick-or-treating adventure, where four friends – Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy – find themselves drawn into a mysterious haunted house. The journey takes them from one room of the house to another, encountering dancing skeletons, waltzing ghosts and a whole series of troublemaking Disney villains.”
The other big news is that Disneyland fans finally get to play along on Halloween. Disney announced the Oogie Boogie Bash – A Disney Halloween Party. This celebration will take place at Disney California Adventure from September 6th through October 31st. You can read full details at the Parks Blog. Let’s be honest, though. Anyone who visits the Happiest Place during the fall will want to go to this. People have clamored for it for many years now.
Oh, there’s one more ticketed event of interest that Disney just announced. It’s an extension of their Disney After Hours premise. This one has a more specific theme. It’s Disney Villains After Hours, which is precisely what it sounds like. The Magic Kingdom hosts a special after-hours event in which ticket-holding guests get the run of the place. The difference this time is that villains run the place. There’s even a Villains Unite the Night special presentation. Be aware that Disney Villains After Hours costs a bit more than regular Disney After Hours events.
New Attractions and Ones Coming Soon…
Disney doesn’t open new attractions often, and so each of them is a momentous occasion. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, an original show just opened. Called Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, it’s a whiz-bang affair with state-of-the-art graphics and an incomprehensibly realistic Lightning McQueen Audio-Animatronic. Early reviews are exceptional; you can form your own opinion by watching a ride video.
While you’re admittedly less likely to visit there, Hong Kong Disneyland recently debuted its own spectacular attraction. Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! is a Marvel-themed version of the Buzz Lightyear gaming rides that you know. And, as you can see here, it is gorgeous.
A more familiar attraction recently debuted at Disney California Adventure. After years of requests, park officials finally added a version of Mickey’s PhilHarmagic. It’s the one that you know intimately from the Magic Kingdom.
Disneyland and Walt Disney World have one other commonality this month. They’ll both get a version of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway over the next couple of years. For Disneyland fans, this is terrific news, as they weren’t expecting the attraction. For Walt Disney World fans, it’s less than ideal, as the ride had been projected to arrive this fall. Instead, we’ll all have to wait until 2020. Still, that’s two years sooner than the Happiest Place on Earth will get it.
Resort Delivery Fees Have Started
Ever since Amazon created Amazon Prime, DVC members have happily shipped items to their hotel rooms. We understand that this strategy is the best way to save money on things like bottled water and snacks. Deep down, we all knew that Disney would put their collective foot down on the practice at some point, and that time is now.
From this point forward, any grocery delivery at a Disney resort will include a $6 surcharge. The good news is that the fee is per delivery, not per item or per box. So, that’s something. The even better news is that you can avoid the fee altogether.
Disney only charges for delivery when an item is transferred to your room. They have to pay a cast member for this bit of work, and so it’s reasonable for them to pass along the cost to you. To avoid the extra expense, you can pick up the item yourself in the hotel lobby. The downside is that you’ll have to lug it to your room, which won’t be easy when you have a case of water and are staying at a large resort.
Here are a couple of other news items that I couldn’t fit into other sections this month. Imagineers made Haunted Mansion even better this month when they added PhotoPass. Yes, you’ll get your picture taken during your supernatural voyage. It’s fittingly the 13th Walt Disney World attraction to feature on-ride imagery.
While the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland doesn’t have on-ride photos yet, the Disneyland Resort area did get something pretty great. Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa is now home to an elegant affair. The Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures is a super-expensive, super-elegant breakfast that features a LOT of character meetings. At the cost of $125 per person with no discount for children, it certainly isn’t for everyone, though.
Finally, DVC cleaned up at the American Resort Development Association (ARDA) awards this year. They won ACE Employer of the Year. According to the Parks Blog, this award “recognizes the highest levels of excellence in the resort timeshare industry.” DVC also won for Best Print Publication and Best Marketing Program. In other words, DVC is every bit as great as you think it is.
Okay, that’s it for this month. The next time we speak, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will be open!