Walt Disney World
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(11/17/14) Hub Construction Update (MORE...)
(11/11/14) New Christmas Decor and the Return of the Jingle Cruise (MORE...)
(11/7/14) Magic Kingdom - A Frozen Holiday Wish (MORE...)
(11/6/14) New Frozen Themed Card For Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Magic Carpets - NOW CLOSED through Nov. 21, 2014
Haunted Mansion - Dec. 1 through Dec 19, 2014
Splash Mountain - Jan. 4, 2015 through Jan. 30, 2015
Cinderella’s Royal Table - Jan. 5, 2015 through Mar. 6, 2015
Liberty Square Riverboat - Jan. 23 through Jan 27, 2015
Journey of the Little Mermaid - Feb. 2 through Mar. 6, 2015
Harmony Baber Shop - Feb. 2, 2015 through Mar. 30, 2015
Park News - (11/11/14) The Christmas decorations have been brought out at the Magic Kingdom, but it’s worth noting that the traditional strands of garland that used to span Main Street are not being used this year. Instead they have installed themed trellis pieces attached to the buildings on either side with holiday wreaths hunt from them. (Photo credit: Alan S Dalinka)
Of course, there will always be Disney fans who hate any kind of change, especially when it comes to special Holiday décor, but this new look does create a better visual line-of-sight of the castle when seen down Main Street, uncluttered by the old garland strands.
In other news, after getting a somewhat negative public response to last year’s Jingle Cruise holiday makeover concept for the Jungle Cruise ride, the Orlando Sentinel reports that the Magic Kingdom is going to try it again this holiday season.
(11/7/14) Anna, Elsa and the other Frozen characters have returned to the Magic Kingdom again, this time as part of the new evening show to light up Cinderella Castle. The new show is called, “A Frozen Holiday Wish” and some great pictures can be found over at MouseSteps this week.
(11/6/14) Walt Disney World has confirmed that guests coming to the “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party” hard ticket event will be given an exclusive new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card themed to Frozen. The park will be called Elsa’s Icy Shield and allow players to use some of Queen Elsa’s special powers. Click here to see the image of the card and the powers it will add to your gameplay.
(11/3/14) There was a lot of panic over a little bit of nothing Saturday night at the Magic Kingdom as the fallout from the night’s fireworks show apparently caused a small section of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train mountain to catch fire briefly. Small fires are not uncommon both within Fantasyland as well as in the forest along the railroad tracks behind Frontierland and Fantasyland, sparked by the burning embers falling from the pyrotechnics, or the occasional more intense blast from a low exploding shell.
As you would expect the Magic Kingdom has fire spotters all throughout the debris field and crews at the ready to spring into action immediately each night, just in case “one little spark” decides to decides to erupt into a blaze. So the fire was quickly put out on the attraction and after a quick inspection and some test runs, it actually reopened to park guests later that same night. Good show Walt Disney World… as pictures of the attraction on fire spread like a blaze though the local media and online fan community far more quickly than the fire itself did, including a funny bit of social media humor as well that might also work as a spoof poster for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
(10/9/14) ThemeParkTourist takes a look around the new Haunted Mansion gift shop, named Memento Mori, at the Magic Kingdom, adding a whole ton of cool Haunted Mansion merchandise that fans of the ride will blow their credit card limit trying to buy it all. Check out great pictures of the shop and a peek at the new merchandise.
Given the overall reaction I’ve been hearing about the new Memento Mori shop... perhaps it could be best described as a Magic Shop instead of a Gift Shop... because the strong magic inside is likely to make all the money from your wallet disappear.
(9/16/14) Along with the announcement of a new Frozen themed ride in Epcot, Disney has confirmed that the Queen Elsa will use her powers at the Magic Kingdom this holiday season to transform Cinderella Castle into an ice palace nightly, starting in November. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf will also be in the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party parade.
(9/1/14) After being closed for the summer, the Astro Orbiter is now being slowly put back into place atop Rocket Tower Plaza. You can see the latest progress pictures over at OrlandoParkNews.
(8/21/14) Orlando Park News takes a photo trip around the Magic Kingdom to check on the latest construction and rehab projects taking place in just about every land in the park.
(8/13/14) Guest going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party can pick up a new exclusive Pirate Helmsman card for the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive game. You can see the details here.
(8/12/14) Orlando Parks News takes a look around the Magic Kingdom at the various rehab work projects going on, and with a special look at Tomorrowland and the new red and orange colors painted around the reopened Peoplemover and working up Rocket Tower Plaza structure on this page.
(8/6/14) It seems that the last row in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean rides across the globe are all not being used currently. I’ve been sent reports from Disneyland, WDW’s Magic Kingdom and even Disneyland Paris who all report that the last row of seats are roped off from use. According to one reader, the local news in Orlando mentioned this in the past week or so and implied that another person had come forward to claim some kind of hand/finger injury on the Florida ride that had taken place before the latest report where the man lost the tips of his fingers. It seems they both were sitting in the six row, so for now they are all closed while the incidents are being investigated.
Note: No word on if the last row on the Tokyo Disneyland ride is open or closed.
(7/30/14) You wont hear me report too often about Disney gift shops, but this one I’m excited about. Walt Disney World has confirmed that the Yankee Trader shop in Liberty Square is now closed and will reopen this fall as a themed shop that will specialize in Haunted Mansion merchandise, including the new Haunted Mansion Authentic line. You can see some of the new Haunted Mansion items soon to be on sale here.
(7/25/14) the latest post to ThemeParkUniversity mentions an interesting new Paper FastPass test system that it being tried out at Fairy Tale Hall this week and is expected to be tried at Soarin’ next week. The idea is to combat the extra long lines by offering guests a paper Standby return time card, allowing them to return and get into a managed standby line where they will only have to wait about 30 minutes or so instead of several hours. This makes sense, by removing guests from standing in a queue, they can be elsewhere in the park, potentially spending money, instead of being trapped in a long queue for hours doing nothing but waiting.
Keep in mind that this is in addition to the FastPass+ system reservations, so in essence they have now created a two-tier FastPass system, with FastPass+ guests on top and the new system just below that with a longer wait time. Of course, this begs the question… what happens to guests who come late when all the FastPass+ and new standby return time cards have all been given out? Are they simply out of luck, or does the park still offer a normal standby queue for those willing to wait? That would be one very sad and long line however…
While I’ve yet to experience FastPass+ first hand, I was well versed in the old paper FastPass system and really never cared for it. Call me old fashioned, but I still like the idea of the good old days where you can just visit the park attractions as you come to them and not have to make reservations, or return at a later time. If the line for something with any kind of FastPass in place is too long… chances are removing FastPass entirely from that attraction will help smooth things out, allowing people to see the true line length for what it is and make a choice about waiting or not, without invisible guests waiting in a virtual queue being in front of them.
(7/11/14) According to the local news an adult male guest visiting from the UK lost “the tip of his ring finger and pinky finger” on one hand while riding Pirates of the Caribbean on Thursday. They haven’t said how it happened, but best guess, I’d say he had to have been sticking his hands over the side of the boat and into the water. (Which is why they say to keep your hands, arms and legs inside at all times!) He was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and Disney has since had the ride checked over, determined it to be safe and reopened it for guests. I’m sure we’ll hear more about this soon.
Now Through 2015 - Central Plaza Hub Expansion - Under Construction - (11/17/14) The latest look at the construction taking place in the HUB at the Magic Kingdom can be found over at OrlandoParksNews.
(10/14/14) The latest look at the construction taking place at the Magic Kingdom’s Hub area has been posted to OrlandoParkNews.
(10/6/14) A new construction update from the Magic Kingdom shows off the progress on the Hub area, as work continues. Make the jump over to OrlandoParkNews to see it.
(9/29/14) A new construction update from the Magic Kingdom has come from the fellows at OrlandoParksNews this week, showing off the progress on the hub area of the park.
(9/19/14) OrlandoParksNews checks out the state of construction around The Hub area at the Magic Kingdom this week, as well as construction work to build a new ‘side street’ along the backside of Main Street, running towards the entrance to Tomorrowland that will be used during peak times when the main paths are packed to the gills for parades and such.
(8/28/14) Orlando Parks News takes a walk around the Magic Kingdom again this week to show off the latest construction progress being made to the Hub area of the park. The difference of the one side under construction compared to the other side which is still mostly untouched is striking.
(8/8/14) Orlando Parks News check in on the Hub construction project area this week.
(7/24/14) Orlando Parks News has posted another construction update from the Magic Kingdom’s Hub area, showing off the large areas being worked on as they expand the pathways, add new pathways and and make the Hub easier to navigate.
(7/17/14) A new look at the construction taking place in the Hub area at the Magic Kingdom can be found at OrlandoThemeParkNews.
(6/10/14) OrlandoParkNews takes a look around the Magic Kingdom’s Hub area this week to check on how things are progressing with the remodel of the park’s central gathering spot as well as a look around some other building rehabs taking place in Adventureland.
(5/22/14) A new construction update from the Magic Kingdom showing off the state of the work to expand the Hub area has been posted to OrlandoParkNews.
(4/22/14) DaMouse takes a look at the Hub area of the Magic Kingdom this week, where construction to reform the Hub area and the waterway around it has begun.
(2/28/14) The Magic Kingdom has announced a new enhancement plan for the park’s Central Plaza (hub) area between the end of Main Street and the Castle that will see new pathways added, sculpted gardens, expanded restaurant seating areas at Casey’s Corner and The Plaza and a new special viewing area for fireworks and castle performance viewing. The work has already begun, but it wont be entirely finished until 2015. Watch the Fly-Over video below to see how the area will look, but some of the changes may be subtle at first.
The major changes to appear will be the addition of a new outer circle ring walkway around the hub, which is very needed as the outer circle around the hub can be nearly impossible to navigate when there is a major fireworks show or parade about to take place. The lower end of the hub, where it connects to Main Street will also be widened and expanded, adding new pathways back that can also serve as additional viewing areas for fireworks. Meanwhile the meandering pathway between the Hub and Tomorrowland that used to go out to the old Swan Boat dock structure appears as if it will be removed entirely, and likely the home to this new sculptured garden they mention. I’ve included a screen capture of the new version of Central Plaza for you to compare to the current Google Maps aerial view of the park.
2021 - 50th Anniversary Celebration - Rumor - (7/4/12) While this seems a little far fetched at this point, we know Disney does often keep a decade long masterplan in the filing cabinet to help plan the future of the Disney parks. This puts a very special event in focus for the long-range planners to start thinking about: the 50th Birthday of the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World in 2021.
Much like the big Millennium celebration, 100 Years of Magic and such, rumor has it that Disney may be planning another mega 16 to 18 month long celebration for the Orlando resort. In the past celebrations Disney has been known to roll out major new attractions at the parks, big new parades, night time spectaculars and often even adding a towering new icon structures or two. (Anyone up for another giant pink Castle Cake?)
While it’s really far too early to know for sure what Disney may be dreaming up at this point, one new addition in particular for the Magic Kingdom does seem to seem to be a no brainer. It just wouldn’t be a 50th Birthday celebration without having a new fireworks spectacular at the Magic Kingdom. (I’m having a vision of a Castle Cake again… with 50 giant candles shooting fireworks into the sky.) Time to wait and see I guess.