WDW Refurb Update: Dining Closures, Port Orleans Quiet Pool

In an effort to be the first to bring the news to you, we’ve been clubbing you over the head with refurbishment updates at the Walt Disney World Resort lately and, unfortunately, we’re not quite done. In addition to what we’ve announced recently, we now have the following announced temporary closures for dining experiences:

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Victoria & Albert’s Receives Twelfth Consecutive AAA Five-Diamond Award

Chef Scott Hunnel from Victoria & Albert'sFor the 12th consecutive year, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’ Grand Floridian Resort & Spa has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond Award. Victoria & Albert’s is the only restaurant in Orlando and one of only three in Florida to be honored with the highest accolade a restaurant can achieve.

Victoria & Albert’s Chef Scott Hunnel has drawn national and international applause for his preparation and delivery of American regional cuisine with classical influences at the elegant, 50-seat restaurant.

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WDW Refurb Update: Tough to be a Bug, Shooting Arcade, Mermaid Extension and More

We have a bunch of refurbishment/closure updates at the Walt Disney World Resort to share with you today, starting with the Magic Kingdom, where the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade will be closed beginning today and expected to re-open on October 1, 2011.

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the 4D attraction, It’s Tough to be a Bug, is scheduled to close on August 15, 2011 and also expected to re-open on October 1.

We previously announced that Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios would be going dark beginning August 15, but according to the official Walt Disney World site, that date may have been moved forward to August 13. It’s still expected to re-open on September 4.

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Golden Oak ‘Early Buyer’ Walt Disney World Benefits Announced

Early homebuyers in Disney’s unique residential resort community, Golden Oak at Walt Disney World ® Resort, will receive Disney VIP park passes to Walt Disney World ® Resort with no block-out dates, free parking, personalized service when making dining reservations at Walt Disney World ® Resort restaurants, access to special early or late theme park hours each day and select merchandise discounts.

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What’s Next: Disneyland Talks Cars Land, Carthay Circle Entrance, Aulani and More

As Disney Soundsational Summer gets underway, even more excitement is coming to Disneyland Resort, where the premiere of the all-new The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is just the latest milestone in the ongoing expansion of Disney California Adventure park. The distinctive peaks of the Cadillac Range are already visible on the horizon beyond Pacific Wharf, signaling the creation of Cars Land, the all-new 12-acre land set to open in 2012. And work on the newly themed Disney California Adventure entry gate into Buena Vista Street, complete with Red Car Trolleys and the distinctive Carthay Circle Theatre, will continue through 2011 for a 2012 opening.

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Disneyland Hotel Announces Milestone in Largest Renovation in Its History

Disneyland Resort today announced the completion of significant upgrades to the Disneyland Hotel, marking a milestone in the landmark property’s current renovation project. A new courtyard, restaurant, bar, pool and water play area add immersive experiences to a Disneyland Resort vacation.

“This exciting renovation extends the immersion and magic of our park experience to this classic hotel,” said Tony Bruno, vice president Resort hotels and Downtown Disney. “We’ve woven important pieces of Disneyland park history into the Disneyland Hotel, particularly with the reopening of the pool and courtyard area. These nostalgic enhancements not only highlight the hotel’s unique heritage, but also our continued investment in the guest experience and our ongoing work to evolve the Resort and Anaheim into a world-class, multiday tourist destination.”

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Disney’s ‘Art of Animation Resort’ to Immerse Guests in Animated Film Classics (Concept Art, Room Photos)

IMG_4810 During the Walt Disney Imagineering presentation at the Disney D23 Destination D: Walt Disney World event, Imagineer Gary Hoffman provided new insight into the resort’s newest hotel, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, expected to open in stages, beginning May, 2012.

On the site of what was once destined to be the second half of the Pop Century resort, the Legendary Years, the Art of Animation will allow guests to step into the world of their favorite Disney films and come face to face with their favorite characters from The Little Mermaid and The Lion King and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Cars — with some major exceptions.

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DVC Offers Online Preview of Aulani Resort with Samantha Brown; Free Lithograph Incentive for Viewers

Disney Vacation Club will soon be offering an online video-on-demand titled ‘Disney Traveler presents Behind the Magic in Hawaii with Samantha Brown,’ previewing the new Aulani Resort which will first welcome its members this summer.

According to the site, viewers will be invited to ‘join TV travel guru Samantha Brown on location to get a sneak peek of the unexpected wonders Disney is creating for the entire family at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawai’i. Plus, learn about exclusive Disney Vacation Club® offers only available through this webcast.’

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CONFIRMED: Eleventh Hour Name Change for Aulani Spa

Concept art for Ulana (or Laniwai?) © Disney EnterprisesWith just a few months to go before Aulani welcomes guests home to Ko Olina, Hawaii on August 29, 2011, Disney Parks and Resorts has made a surprising move. Despite the official Disney Parks blog reporting that Aulani would be naming its spa Ulana (and there being trademark applications to back that claim up), it may surprise you to notice that Ulana isn’t mentioned on Aulani’s official site, despite the fact that every other amenity is named on it.

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New Storybook Rooms and Health and Wellness Suites Continue Growth Strategy at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Resort Royal Room artist rendering © Disney EnterprisesOver the course of the next year, new Walt Disney World Resort hotel rooms and suites will open that will allow guests to sleep like visiting Disney royalty or perhaps add a yoga session or two to their Disney vacation. It’s part of an overall lodging strategy at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts that includes the addition of new niche rooms and suites to its guest offerings.

Beginning in fall 2011, guests will be able to experience new health and wellness suites on the 14th floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In the spring of 2012, new Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort will take guests on a vacation getaway to Princess Tiana’s guest house where her friends have also come to visit.

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