Disneyland land purchase

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Disney Cruise Line cast members weathered Hurricane Dorian.
  • Downtown Disney has some new food on the way.
  • Say goodbye to some Disneyland entertainment.
  • And more!

Image result for disney cruise line castaway cay

As Hurricane Dorian moves up the Eastern Seaboard, many people in Florida are breathing a mild, short sigh of relief. (Hurricane season is sadly not over yet.) Dorian was expected to hit hard in the Sunshine State but ended up mostly steering clear. That, however, wasn’t the case for the Bahamas, and there is a Disney connection. Disney Cruise Line has a dedicated island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay.

The good news is that the cast members at Castaway Cay are safe. The bad/inexplicable news is that they were told not to evacuate, in spite of Dorian hammering the islands for two straight days. According to Disney, there weren’t hurricane force winds at the island, but being just 45 miles away from the center of the storm implies that the winds were…well, pretty bad at least. It’s a baffling decision, but at least the cast members are all right.

ronto roasters breakfast

We’re still a couple months away from the arrival of a cookbook dedicated to the food of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, but you can check out a few more of the recipes now. The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook, as it’s known, will be available starting November 5, but via that link above, you can check out recipes for items like Polystarch Portion Bread and the beloved Ronto Wrap. If there’s been one truly consistent bit of praise so far with both Galaxy’s Edge lands, it’s that the food’s to die for, so these recipes are a godsend.

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Here’s the opposite of a godsend: there’s been a lot of lighter-than-expected attendance at Disneyland over the last few months. Yes, you’ve probably already heard about this headline, and all the various reasons as to why. But I’m bringing it up today because lower crowds means, for Disney, less entertainment options. If, for example, you enjoy either the Laughing Stock show at the Golden Horseshoe or the Pixarmonic Orchestra in Pixar Pier, guess what? They’re going away on September 14. Obviously, rides closing down is a bigger deal than a given live show, but part of the magic of the parks is that live entertainment is as easy to find as rides are. With the park now shifting into holiday mode, it’s not as if there won’t be shows, but there’s two fewer charming live performances now. And that’s mildly distressing.

Epcot International Festival of the Arts

But speaking of the arts, Disney has not shifted entirely away from celebrating them. They just announced that Epcot will once again host the Festival of the Arts from January 17 to February 24 of next year. There will be workshops, seminars, and live concerts including a new version of the Disney on Broadway concert series in the America Gardens Theatre in World Showcase. From all accounts, it’s a great addition to Epcot’s other yearly festivals honoring culture and food.

Downtown Disney sign at the Disneyland Resort

Back at Disneyland, Downtown Disney is welcoming a couple new food options over the next few months. Technically, one of them isn’t so much of an entirely new option, as much as a rebranding: what was once Jamba Juice is now called Jamba. The newly christened Jamba will be reopening in the next few months, with the store in Downtown Disney getting a full-on overhaul. The other addition is a genuine one: Asian Street Eats by Chef Hung Huynh, a take-out window from the same company behind Earl of Sandwich. That, of course, means it will be great. Just a shame it’s not open yet.

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