Theme Park Bits: Mickey Shorts Theater, Plant-Based Food Options, And More

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • A new way to watch Mickey Mouse shorts is on the way.
  • The Disneyland Resort has a new spa in the new year.
  • Go plant-based with new menus.
  • And more!
  • 2020 is bringing a lot of changes to the world of Disney theme parks. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, one of the biggest changes is the arrival of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a new attraction themed to the wild and wacky shorts from Disney XD featuring everyone's favorite pair of talking mice. So it stands to reason that Disney might want to include some Mickey Mouse-themed short films at the parks. That inspired the recent announcement of the Mickey Shorts Theater, arriving next year. Hopefully there's more room to relax while watching than there is at the Main Street Cinema in Disneyland's Main Street.

    Let's say you're traveling to Walt Disney World this year, and you'd like to make sure that you and your whole family can get enough time to ride the big attractions in Fantasyland at least one time. Well, time for some good news/bad news. The good news is, Early Morning Magic is back starting on November 13, where you can have more than an hour in Fantasyland with a limited crowd. Plus, you can even get an exclusive breakfast at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe. Bad news: the adult price, per person, for this 75-minute ride time is 89 dollars. 89 dollars! For 75 minutes! If you have money to burn, get to it. For the rest of us...maybe just get ready to wait.

    If you've spent any time at Disney's Grand Californian Resort and Spa lately in the Disneyland area, you might have noticed the conspicuous absence of one of those things: specifically, the spa. Well, that will change in the spring of 2020 with the brand-new Tenaya Stone Spa. The full-service spa is said to be "inspired by the spirit of nature and Californian heritage" with the word "Tenaya" meaning "to dream" in some indigenous cultures. If the spa is designed similar to the rest of the resort, the theming won't be in-your-face but appropriately calming and atmospherically immersive. Keep an eye out for its arrival next spring.

    The easy assumption to make about Disney theme parks is that the food they offer is automatically going to be bad for you. But that's not entirely true, nor has it ever been. (In my trip to Disneyland at the end of September, I was pleasantly surprised to see some of its restaurants carrying the meat-free Impossible Burger, though the price tag was not quite as pleasant a surprise.) Disney is doubling down on a current food trend, that of plant-based options. Whether it's Asian dumplings, Star Wars-inspired food, or cashew cheesecake, there are literally hundreds of plant-based options at Disney's U.S. parks now available. So you can still eat unhealthy food there, but you've got lots of other choices now.

    Avengers: Damage Control at The VOID at Downtown Disney District

    It's rare, but every so often, there's a story here in Theme Park Bits that just makes me very old and out of touch. I mention that up front, because I am sure that someone will get a kick out of the recent announcement of a new "hyper-reality" experience coming to Downtown Disney, themed to The Avengers. The experience, called Avengers: Damage Control, is arriving on October 18 at The Void in Downtown Disney for a limited time. Come to play with some of your favorite heroes, and stay to realize that you're wearing goggles and waving your hands around indiscriminately. (I know, I know, VR is the way of the future, but it still looks mighty silly from the outside in. Like I said: I'm out of touch!)