Grand Avenue: Coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios® is going through some major changes with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. But we just found out there will be a bit more! Muppets Courtyard, along with a portion of the former Streets of America, is being re-imagined by Walt Disney Imagineering to become a new area called Grand Avenue. Inspired by present day Los Angeles, Grand Avenue is where vintage office buildings and warehouses are being converted into fun and exciting new uses. New spaces for “shops” should soon be popping up in this area! Each window on the street will charming displays to look at.  One of the highlights of Grand Avenue will be BaseLine Tap House, a new corner pub that will feature California beers and wines along with small bites. 

Muppets Courtyard will become Grand Park, an urban square off Grand Avenue. Close by will be PizzeRizzo and Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano.  If you haven't notice changes have already begun. The Muppets theater has been renamed “Grand Arts Theatre” and has a brand-new marquee. Muppet*Vision 3D will be sticking around to keep you laughing as well! Grand Avenue is expected to open up to guests this Fall. We are so excited about all of the new changes coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios®  how about you?

Want a truly magical vacation? Let our experts help you plan! Contact us here today!



‘DISNEY MOVIE MAGIC’ Debuts at Hollywood Studios

Every night this Summer the iconic Grauman’s Chinese Theatre will be transformed for a brand new nighttime show called Disney Movie Magic! The new show includes special lighting and state-of-the-art projection mapping technology that immerses you into the world of Disney Move Magic!

Disney Movie Magic includes iconic moments from contemporary Disney blockbusters like "Pirates of The Caribbean," the "Indiana Jones Adventures," and classics like "Mary Poppins,"

You can view this show nightly this Summer in addition to performances of “Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular.” 


Want to see this awesome new show in person? Contact our experts here  to get more information about planning your magical vacation!

VIP Tour Experiences at Walt Disney World® Resort Part 2

A couple of weeks back, I posted about some of the amazing VIP Experiences that are available at the Walt Disney World® Resort.  Of course, Part 1 focused on my favorite topic - food!  Again, more detail can be found If you want even more detail, check out the Divas Dish Podcast where I shared live from my hotel at the Grand Floridian (Episode 68). Click this link, or grab it on iTunesI Heart Radio, or Stitcher.

So today, let's focus on a VIP Tour.  Simply amazing. If you want to truly feel like a Rock Star, this is the way to roll! Your Tour Guide is a very knowledgeable Cast Member who will be your personal escort through the parks. Basically, they ensure that you see what you want, when you want, with no waiting.  They will take you into the FastPass line of every attraction - even the most popular!  You bypass bag check.  You are driven right to a special entrance, where your band is scanned and you walk right into the park with no lines.  It couldn't be easier!

Yep - I went to Tower of Terror first!

Yep - I went to Tower of Terror first!

And did I mention SNACKS?! Private VIP guides really do think of everything!  Our guide, Kirk, was phenomenal.  So knowledgeable and friendly! It was fun getting to know him and fun getting to ride the rides with him! He found out that I love Hidden Mickeys, and so he spent time pointing out the hard-to-find ones.  Did you know that there are 3 of them in Soarin' Around the World™? I bet that 3rd one is the one you'll struggle to find! 

Oh you know, just your normal Tower of Terror selfie...

Oh you know, just your normal Tower of Terror selfie...

Kirk even helped us park hop! We went from Disney's Hollywood Studios® to Epcot®  - again no bag check line or line to use the touch point. In the space of 2 hours, we had done 4 big ticket attractions!  The amount of time saved was amazing.  

Private VIP Tours are available for up to 10 guests. If you are with a larger party, you'll just add another guide -- this ensures that the personalized experience stays, well ... personal! The cost varies based on season from $400-$600 per hour (7 hour minimum).  This cost is well-worth it, especially during those extra-crowded times of year! Your Upon A Star Agent can book this for you or even add it into your package. 

There are also half day VIP Tours available that are not private; they will, however, take you through the parks to focus on either "thrill rides" or "classic rides".  These are not personalized to your family, but they are a great way to tour if the full VIP Private Tour isn't in the budget this time around.

More to come - watch for Part 3 about "Early Morning Magic" at Walt Disney World® Resort!

New Dining Experiences Coming to Walt Disney World

Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk

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This is a brand-new character meal featuring Disney Couples!  This new breakfast will feature couples from Tangled and other films like The Little Mermaid.  Looks like this will be the first-time Rapunzel will have be at a character meal.

While enjoying enjoy breakfast, guests will be encouraged to “share the tales of their own hopes and dreams” or maybe tell a tale of a great adventure.

Trattria al Forno has a great location.  The Boardwalk is within walking distance of Epcot and Hollywood Studios so it’s a great place to start your park day.

While the official menu has not been released here’s hoping their waffle with espresso-mascarpone cheese remains.  It’s excellent!

This exciting new Character Breakfast is set to open this spring.  Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended. 


Hollywood and Vine at Hollywood Studios

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine has been a enjoyable dinner experience with Minnie, Mickey, Donald and Goofy for a little over a year now.  Soon there will be more chances to join Minnie and Friends for some festive fun.  This spring Minnie’s seasonal Dine will be offered for lunch! 

Minnie Mouse arrives for lunch starting May 14, 2017.  Advance dining reservations are recommended.


Paddlefish at Disney Springs


Adding to the new food line up is Paddlefish, the multi-million-dollar transformation of Fulton’s Crab House in Disney Springs.  The iconic paddleboat has been reimagined into a modern yacht experience.

The seafood-centric menu features Maine lobster, King and snow crab and a selection of fresh fish picked daily.  Some favorites from Fulton’s are still on the menu like the lobster corn dogs.  An expansive wine list as well as classic turn-of-the-century cocktails as to the ambience of the restaurant.

Paddlefish is now open.  Advance Dining Reservations are recommended.


Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney Springs

Planet Hollywood has re-opened its doors in Disney Springs.  The overhaul of the interior and exterior took more than a year.  The new observatory houses the new Planet Hollywood Restaurant and shop along with the new Stargazers Bar. 

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The menu features burgers and other items created especially for the Planet Hollywood Observatory by The Food Network’s Guy Fieri.  For guests that speak in Guyism’s you’ll recognize LTOP, SMC and Donkey Sauce on the menu.  The Stargazers Bar will showcase local Florida Craft Beers.

Planet Hollywood Observatory is now open.  Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended.

These new dining experience are an exciting addition to the food choices at Walt Disney World.  Contact your Upon A Star Agent for more details. 






Star Wars Guided VIP Tour coming soon!

Attention Star Wars fans: Starting January 2nd, Disney's Hollywood Studios will be offering a seven-hour guided tour that offers VIP access to the parts of the park that feature a galaxy far, far away.

These specialty tours include Star Tours, Jedi Training, and Star Wars Launch Bay. Guests will also have the opportunity to have interactions with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca.


There will a special themed meal, and the evening will be capped off with a dessert party during the park's "Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular" fireworks/laser/projection show.

My family just experienced all of these things last week and were completely in awe of how the Star Wars experiences have revitalized Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Galactic Spectacular left me speechless and trading with the Jawas was a highlight of our vacation!

Starting January 2nd, tours will be given on Mondays and Saturdays at 1:00 p.m., and will cost $121.12 per person, in addition to the cost of admission to Hollywood Studios. It's a great deal!


Contact your favorite Upon a Star Agent for more information. They will happily book this tour for you!