We recap all of the fun stuff we saw and did in Orlando, and dive into the back story of the phrase “May The 4th Be With You!” Plus, news and rumors from Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Disneyland Resort.
The No Midnight Podcast is available at the following links:
or, listen on SoundCloud below:
Several Confirmed Refurbishment Closures Scheduled For Walt Disney World.
Sources are reporting that several attractions at Walt Disney World will be going down in the coming months for minor, and in some cases major, refurbishments.
Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom will close August 28 through November 17th.
The tiger exhibit at Animal Kingdom’s Maharajah Jungle Trek is currently closed and will remain unavailable to guests through Friday.
And finally, the single rider line at Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest will remain closed through May 16th.
Updated WDW Maps Show Pandora: The World of AVATAR!
Ahead of the opening of Pandora: The World of AVATAR in a few weeks, Walt Disney World has now updated their My Disney Experience map to include Pandora. You can clearly see the attractions, shops, restaurants and the actual layout of the land.
Thanks to Chip & Co for catching it!
Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge Announced
This week Disney announced that the new Tomorrowland Skyline Lounge will be opening on May 26th. Their press release reads, “See the sights from a new perspective as you enjoy a boxed treat and your choice of beverage with family and friends.
High above Tomorrowland, you’ll have plenty of time to relax. And if a fireworks spectacular is scheduled, you can catch a glimpse of it right from your seat. The lounge area is open to party Guests from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM, so you can sit or stroll around for a full 2 hours―or even come and go at your leisure.
Each ticketed Guest receives a boxed treat containing seasonal fruits, cheese and assorted sweets, plus choice of hot or cold non-alcoholic beverage. Please note that food and beverage offerings are subject to change.”
To book, and for more information click here.
Pandora: The World Of AVATAR Media Events Held/Cast Previews Begin
While we were at Walt Disney World last week, our friends Matt & Quinn, who were on the podcast last week, were at the Pandora media preview. Sadly, we weren’t invited. Attractions has a ton of photos and videos at AttractionsMagazine.com.
Classic Space Mountain Returning To Disneyland This Summer
According to Disneyland.com, the classic Space Mountain will return to Disneyland park June 1! Just days after the 40th anniversary of the Tomorrowland favorite, space travelers will blast off once again on an intergalactic adventure.
A variation of a concept Walt Disney developed in the 1960s, Space Mountain first opened at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 1975, and construction on Space Mountain at Disneyland park began soon after. The attraction went on to become a guest favorite, seeing special themed versions such as Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy and Hyperspace Mountain.
You are clear for launch starting June 1 with the return of Space Mountain at Disneyland park!
Testing for Happily Ever After Last Night
We got word yesterday afternoon that Disney was going to be testing the Magic Kingdom’s new nighttime show Happily Ever After last night after midnight, and they sure did! Several photos quickly hit the internet showing a massive array of spotlights filling the sky over Cinderella Castle. We shared one such photo from Disney Photo Snapper on our Instagram.
This show looks amazing! Check out MP’s blog about the future of Disney fireworks here.
Driverless Vehicles To Transport Walt Disney World Guests?
According to the unconfirmed report, a pilot program would initially be used to transport Cast Members around property later this year while this system is in testing, with the goal to get the driverless vehicles ready for guest use in 2018.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson To Re-Design Jungle Cruise?
Rumors began swirling this week that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who is starring in Disney’s new Jungle Cruise movie will be working to re-design the popular theme park attraction Jungle Cruise.
It all started when Johnson Instagram’ed a photo from the Disney vault saying, “we’ll partner with Disney’s brilliant Imagineers to help re-engineer and re-design the #JungleCruise ride in all the Disney theme parks around the world. A very special opportunity for us and our @sevenbucksprod to create an unforgettable and fun EXPERIENCE for families around the world. And as Walt Disney himself would say… it’s magical.”
Disney quickly shut those rumors down.
Haunted Mansion Restaurant Coming To Magic Kingdom?
One occasionally reliable insider is reporting that Disney is looking at building a Haunted Mansion themed restaurant at Walt Disney World. On a Disney message board the poster said (among other things), “a new Haunted Mansion eating venue/experience is coming to the MK, despite the mixed reviews of the Skipper Canteen.”
Moana Volcano Coaster Coming To WDW’s Adventureland?
Another rumor that started floating around this week was that Disney has dusted off an old attraction idea called Fire Mountain, and are planning to place it in Adventureland.
The same poster who turned us on to the Haunted Mansion restaurant, has also killed that rumor saying (in part), “No, Fire Mountain isn’t happening now with a Moana storyline anymore than in the 90s. Back then, it was killed very quickly because Disney didn’t want another ‘extreme’ type attraction after having issues with Alien Encounter.
Noting (sic) has changed. The FM plans featured a ride system that would have fit in well at IOA or BGT. That was never going to fly then. It isn’t going to now. I know the plans have been dusted off, but the MK rule is every attraction needs to be fine for a sensitive seven-year-old (or 77-year-old, like me!) While I am quite sure that an amazing FM concept could work with this film, it just won’t happen at a castle park in the swamps.”
Monorail Tracks Quietly Being Built On The South End Of Walt Disney World
As Walt Disney World prepares itself for an influx of guests when Star Wars Land opens in 2019. The gondola system connecting Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and some nearby hotels, has already been confirmed. But The Dis Unplugged podcast mentioned this week that they have spotted what they are certain are monorail tracks being installed on the south end of Walt Disney World near Osceola Parkway. Coincidentally, that is where the new entrance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be.
THURSDAY: Epcot Flower and Garden Festival where we met RJ from The DISfunctional Podcast, and taping part two of the No Midnight Podcast with with Gavin & Patrick from Florida E-Ticket, and Matt & Quinn from Attractions Magazine. Then I got my first tattoo. Click here to watch that video.
SATURDAY: Disney’s Animal Kingdom do-over, and Epcot.
May The 4th Be With You
Tomorrow, May 4th is Star Wars Day, the once unofficial and now official celebration of the Star Wars Universe! You’ll hear “May The 4th Be With You” alot, and it will be ALL OVER FACEBOOK! But, where did the phrase come from, and how did May 4th become an official thing?
The reference was first used on May 4, 1979, when Margaret Thatcher took office as the UKs Prime Minister. Her political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory message in The London Evening News, saying “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”
The first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema in 2011. Festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges.
Fans then began celebrating Star Wars Day in a variety of ways in social media.
Disney purchased Lucasfilm including the rights to Star Wars in late 2012. Since 2013, The Walt Disney Company has officially observed the holiday with several Star Wars events and festivities at the companies US parks.
On Star Wars Day 2015, astronauts in the International Space Station watched Star Wars.
Now you’re in the know, May the 4th be with you.
A large part of making something like a YouTube channel and a podcast work, especially in this genre, is getting involved with the community. We have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet up and partner with a few content creators and I wanted to take a second to give them a shout out.
First and foremost, we have to thank Gavin & Patrick from Florida E-Ticket. They were truly the first people in the Disney/Theme Park content creation community to embrace us and welcome us with open arms. You can check them out on YouTube just search Gavin & Patrick and/or Florida E-Ticket. Love you guys.
We also have to thank Matt Roseboom from Attractions Magazine for being so kind and supportive of our little upstart operation from the very beginning. He runs arguably the premiere piece of theme park media in the world, and still makes time to appear on our show, and answer my questions when I have them. Thank you Matt, for all you do. You can find Attractions Magazine at AttractionsMagazine.com
We have made some new friends, more specifically in the podcasting realm recently that we have to give love to. First of all, The DCast, Andy Herndon and his pals do a fun and informative show and we hope to do a crossover episode with them in the near future! Andy, you rock! Thanks for the love on this week’s show!
Our newest podcaster friends are RJ & Adam from The DISfunctional Podcast. RJ took time out of his day to come hang with us in the parks on our last visit and we even took a cute selfie. We’ll definitely do a crossover episode with those boys soon. To find their show, just head to your favorite podcasting and search for “The DISfunctional Podcast.” They are also on social media at The D Podcast.
We have been on the air almost 3 months and the iTunes reviews have, for the most part, been very generous and kind. So, we wanted to start giving some of that love back. Each week we will read some of our 5 Star reviews on the show.
Be sure to head to iTunes and give us a 5 Star review, then listen next week to hear yours!
Each Wednesday we will stream the show’s taping live at 7:55pm PST on our Facebook. Like our page for a live notification, and join us real-time. We want your comments and questions. Also, feel free to email us at NoMidnightBlog@gmail.com. Remember…
OUR NEXT LIVE TAPING
WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2017 AT 7:55PM
Next week Simon joins us back in the studio with a Disney Vacation Club update, plus the latest news and rumors from Disneyland, Universal Orlando, and Walt Disney World!