In this edition of Theme Park Bits:
- Get ready for a new Cirque du Soleil show at Disney Springs.
- Learn more about the trackless Beauty and the Beast ride at Tokyo Disneyland.
- Play through the world of Indiana Jones on your smartphone.
- And more!
Even before it was called Disney Springs, the shopping and entertainment complex in Walt Disney World has had, as one of its flagship options, a Cirque du Soleil spectacular. But the previous show vacated a little while ago, with the promise of a new show on the horizon. The horizon, though, is getting awfully close, because the new show, “Drawn to Life”, is now so close to a reality that you can book tickets. Previews start on March 20, 2020, and bring together the talented Cirque acrobats with Disney animation in what’s sure to be an incredible performance.
If you’re at the Disneyland Resort, you may well enjoy some of the smartphone games on the Play Disney Parks app. There’s a new addition that’s also something of a throwback. If you spend any time in the very, very long queue for the Indiana Jones Adventure, you may have noticed the unique glyphs on the wall. You may not have realized that guests were always meant to decode these glyphs; back in 1995, when the ride opened, there were special decoder cards. Now, there’s “Indiana Jones Adventure: The Gifts of Mara”, an experience you can go through on the app to learn more about what those glyphs mean. It’s only available if you’re in the park, though, so head over quick to learn what those strange markings always meant.
Back over in Walt Disney World, one of the purportedly hidden gems of the overall resort is the ice cream shop known as Beaches & Cream. (I say “purportedly” only because I’ve never been there myself. Basically anyone you find online who has been there loves it.) Well, good news for all you fans because Beaches & Cream is set to reopen after an extended refurbishment on December 26. Consider it a late Christmas present, as you can experience new design work in the soda shop, new food items, and even a new dessert called Cookie Fries. Who’s up for a trip? I know I am.
For our last few stories today, though, we’re going to head out of the United States. First, let’s stop off in merry old England, which is maybe not the first location you think of when you think of immersive theme parks and resorts. If the London Resort has anything to say about that, though, things are going to change. They’ve recently unveiled more details about the multi-gate theme resort, which would be partially operational by 2024 and in full operation by 2029. Aside from some broad land names and theming, though, there’s scant details yet. Paramount Pictures is somewhat involved in the project, so we may see Star Trek popping up soon enough. But for now, we have to wait…almost five years.
For our last two stories, we’ll not just be spending time in Tokyo Disneyland, but in a specific land within that park, Fantasyland. The land is getting a new attraction soon, a trackless ride inspired by Beauty and the Beast. Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast will be a roughly 8-minute long attraction in which guests experience the tale of the 1991 classic through scenes such as the “Be Our Guest” sequence and the eponymous leads’ romantic dance. This film is so wonderful that a ride was a natural fit — it’s only shocking it’s taken this long to get one.
But all that’s new in Tokyo Disneyland isn’t limited to attractions. They’ll be getting some new food options as well, both in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. The former land is getting two different locations both themed to Beauty and the Beast, La Taverne de Gaston and LeFou’s. Gaston’s sit-down location features some classic French dishes like croissants, French toast and French fries. (Well, they have “French” in the title.) Over in Tomorrowland, they’re opening an all-popcorn restaurant fittingly titled The Big Pop, themed to Big Hero 6. It’s a clever idea, with lots of flavored popcorn options to choose from including cookies & cream and strawberry milk.
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