Star Wars Galaxy's Edge lightsabers

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Walt Disney World has installed a lot of solar panels.
  • Guests in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland have to keep their alcohol in the new land only.
  • One of Sea World’s parks is now a Certified Autism Center.
  • And more!

We’ll start today in Orlando, as Walt Disney World has introduced a pretty massive new installation at the resort. No, it’s not a new park or a new land, but something that’s going to be very important for the parks moving forward. It’s just a 270-acre, 50-megawatt solar facility intended to help reduce Disney World’s energy emissions by 50 percent by 2020, compared to what they were emitting in 2012. Disney being, y’know, one of the biggest corporations in the world makes this a pretty big deal. It’s also much bigger than a previous 5-megawatt facility they opened in 2016. Good for Disney – one tiny step closer to lowering energy emissions.

Staying in Orlando, but moving to a different resort, some nice news out of SeaWorld. (And considering their whole “We left guests stranded in a gondola for hours” story last weekend, they need some nice news for a change.) Discovery Cove, one of the resort’s theme parks, has been designated a Certified Autism Center. It’s not the first time a SeaWorld-related park has gotten the certification, meaning it’s designed to minimize sensory overload for guests with cognitive disorders. This designation may not impact all guests, but is no doubt an encouraging sign to those on the autism spectrum and their families.

Now, let’s travel to California, over to the Disneyland Resort. This spring at Disneyland, guests can experience even more celebrations of Mr. Mickey Mouse with a pop-up exhibit all about everyone’s favorite mouse. Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration (you know it’s important because there’s an exclamation point) is going to be located in Downtown Disney, in the former space occupied by ESPN Zone. The pop-up exhibit will offer detailed exhibits, unique photo opportunities, and more. It’s a separately ticketed event, but might be worth the visit if only to see what the old ESPN Zone site looks like sans sports memorabilia. Plus, of course, celebrating Mickey some more.

Moving ever so slightly, let’s head over to Disneyland’s Paradise Pier Hotel, a little ways past Downtown Disney. At that hotel, starting on Friday, March 29, you’ll be able to enjoy an all-new dining experience with everyone’s favorite easily aggravated duck. Donald Duck’s Seaside Brunch will be a unique and special experience, offered only Fridays – Sundays, where you can enjoy everything from waffles to pizza to beignets. The brunch will include some character meet-and-greets, but the article sadly does not confirm the answer to the most important question: will there be any brunch-like alcoholic beverages? No mimosas – no sale! Don’t let me down, Disney.

Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Oga's Cantina

Speaking of Disneyland and alcohol (and I am so glad to type those words), let’s go into Disneyland Park to the soon-to-come Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Disney theme-park diehards know that Disneyland is the rare theme park where alcohol isn’t served. Of course, Galaxy’s Edge is breaking new ground, by offering alcoholic beverages in the Mos Eisley – er, sorry, Oga’s Cantina. Which is fine! All the other parks offer alcohol, so why not remove that barrier here as well? There is a wrinkle, though, as recently confirmed by Disneyland’s official Twitter feed: if you buy some booze at Oga’s, it’s got to stay there. This may only apply in the Anaheim version of the land, but why not make it the rule everywhere? As the saying goes (because I’m creating it just now), what happens in Oga’s, stays in Oga’s.

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