disneyland shanghai

Today is astonishing numbers: despite opening less than a month ago, Shanghai Disneyland has already seen nearly one million visitors. The park, which was carefully constructed to appeal to traditional Chinese tastes while introducing the Disney theme park experience to Chinese visitors, was massively expensive and controversial, requiring Disney CEO Bob Iger to work closely with the country’s Communist government to avoid rocking the wrong political boat. In any case, the gamble appears to have paid off for now.

One of the great traditions of any trip to a Disney theme park is politely telling the park’s photographers that no, you don’t want your picture taken in front of an iconic landmark, but thanks for asking. And now, you’ll be able to say no to a computer instead. It seems that Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park is currently testing new technology that will involve you and your families standing on a certain mark and having your photo taken by an automated and unseen camera. Then the picture will be sent straight to your My Disney Experience app for future use. However, this technology is still in the testing phase and it’s not clear if it will go beyond this phase. After all, there is certainly convenience involved here, but unlike an actual photographer, an automated camera can’t manage crowds or indulge you with slightly awkward small talk as you pose for your picture.

Speaking of Walt Disney World and new technology, the park is reportedly considering a new Uber-style ride service that will allow guests to sidestep the notoriously slow public transportation options in favor of catching direct rides from resort to resort. Details are hazy (this all comes from surveys being sent out to guests), but this service would require a one-time fee from guests, who would then be able to use the service for the duration of their stay. For visitors who don’t bring a car to property, this could be a lifesaver – waiting on a bus so you can transfer to another park so you can get back to your hotel is a great way to end a vacation day on a sour note.

Disney has shared a new video tour of Tiffins, the fancy new restaurant at the Animal Kingdom park in Walt Disney World. As you’d expect from any new Disney eatery, it’s gorgeously themed and the food is only part of the experience. You’re paying a premium for the food on your plate because you get to eat it in a location that feels completely fresh and new and exciting. This doesn’t look like the kind of place that would interest kids who only want to see classic characters, but for more seasoned parkgoers who appreciate Disney’s attention to detail, it looks like a real treat.

pizzerizzo

After months of rumors, Disney has made it official: the Hollywood Studios park in Orlando is getting a Muppets-themed restaurant in the newly re-christened Muppets Courtyard section of the park. PizzeRizzo will be a a quick service eatery owned and operated by Rizzo the rat, which feels like a great opportunity to include a few Ratatouille in-jokes. Here’s the official description:

Pizza lovers, rejoice! PizzeRizzo will open this fall in Muppets Courtyard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in the former Toy Story Pizza Planet location. Rizzo The Rat owns and operates the pizzeria, where guests can grab a pizza pie and a cold drink. Enjoy a casual Italian-American dining experience in a whole new way, through the eyes of the lovable, wisecracking Muppet.

Walt Disney Imagineering hid hints of Rizzo, his extended family and friends who have visited PizzeRizzo over the years throughout the two-story quick-service location. In addition to the expansive indoor and outdoor seating area, guests will be able to dine in a “cheesy” banquet room, or take five in a special booth designated just for Rizzo’s celebrity friends.

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