Walt Disney World
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(1/22/15) Interactive Effects Added to New Peter Pan Queue (MORE...)
(1/21/15) Jungle Cruise Captains, Pirates and More... (MORE...)
(1/20/15) New Pirates Closure Rumor (MORE...)
(1/18/15) More Hub Construction (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Splash Mountain - NOW CLOSED through Jan. 31, 2015
Cinderella’s Royal Table - NOW CLOSED 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 Barber Shop - Feb. 16 through Spring 2015
Big Thunder Mountain - Mar. 4 through Mar. 7
It’s A Small World - Mar. 10 through Mar. 13
Jungle Cruise - Apr. 13 through May 8
Liberty Tree Tavern - July 6 through Nov. 20
Park News - (1/22/15) Pictures showing off new interactive features added to the new themed extended queue for Peter Pan's Flight can be found at WDW News Today. New additions including shadows on the wall guests can interact with, Tinker Bell flying around and moving items in one of the rooms as well as guests being able to clap to create a storm of pixie dust.
(1/21/15) Screamscape sources have confirmed to us that Disney is planning a major refurbishment to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. According to one source, the scope of the work included the complete replacement of the concrete and rock-work along the slides of the flume, as well as a major refurbishment to the pirate ship. Lots of other items are also planned to be address, as with any water attraction, it is a never ending battle to deal with rust and water damage issues throughout the attraction.
Other sources were also very forthcoming that the ride has not been the same since they replaced the boat fleet with the current crop, which are lighter and make use of more plastic materials. The work on the flume itself may be to deal with the various issued caused by the new boats.
These issues including them getting stuck along the course until they are bumped free by the next boat behind them, or have to be pushed by a cast member. How they ride through the flume sections differently has also been documented before, as the back row tends to get far wetter than it ever did before during the splashdown, leading them to close off the last row quite often. And finally, there is some internal speculation that the legal department may also have a hand in this, due to the accident where a guest lost a finger a few months ago while sitting in the back row and had his hand outside the boat, so some kind of new barrier or way to force guests to keep their hands inside may also be in the works.
In other news, you may have noticed a new lengthy rehab is also planned for the Liberty Tree Tavern that will see the restaurant closed for almost 5 months (July 6 to Nov. 20). I'm told that the focus of the work here isn't on the restaurant itself, but rather a complete redesign of the kitchen area that will transform it into a new multi-use kitchen area that will service not only the Liberty Tree Tavern, but an all new restaurant concept planned to open in the old Verandah space at the entrance to Adventureland. This is apparently the main reason why Tinker Bell was moved out of the building and sent to her new Main Street digs.
While the concept may still be a bit fluid, the overall concept from what I understand is that it will be themed to tie into the Jungle Cruise theme. In short... imagine a crazy Adventureland themed restaurant staffed by the Jungle Cruise Captains as a way to pay the bills when they are in-between jobs, and to expand their bad comedy into the realm of the culinary arts.
(1/20/15) There is a rumor floating around claiming that Pirates of the Caribbean at the Magic Kingdom will end up closing for a 5 to 6 month rehab later this year, that could begin as early as this May, which would be typical of Florida's management style being willing to close a major ride for the entire summer season, just so it can be open for the week of Christmas to New Year;s crowds.
Can anyone else confirm this? I'm also curious what kind of rehab would take so long, as six months seems like a very long time... long enough to rebuild the entire flume system itself if needed.
(1/5/15) While interactions with theme park characters is often thought of as just something for the kids, some of the best interactions I've seen have actually been with adults trying to show off and being put to shame by the characters. Somewhat in the same vein as the Megatron videos from December, it seems Disney's own Gaston at Walt Disney World really has what it takes to be Gaston. And like Ric Flair famously said, "To be the man, you gotta beat the man!" and Gaston just proved he IS THE MAN...
Watch the video clip below soon making the viral video rounds, as a park guest at Walt Disney World challenged Gaston to a push up contest. He soon regretted this, as Gaston quickly puts the poor man to shame very quickly. (Sorry for the vertical video, but it's worth watching in this case!)
(12/3/14) Disney and More has posted a look at a fun poster that Disney park fans might be interested in, featuring a side by side look at virtually every ride vehicle and mode of transportation available at Walt Disney World, including some that are now extinct, all in a 22 X 28 poster.
(11/26/14) Without any fanfare, the Magic Kingdom opened a new themed addition to Peter Pan’s Flight this week. According to the report at Disney & More, guests standing in the regular stand-by line now get to pass through the Darling household, passing through a hallway and the kid’s room just before boarding the ride. It is great to see a well themed queue experience come to this ride, which always had one of the longest and most dull queues of all time. I’m guessing they picked up the extra space by taking over the old restroom area, which was no longer needed when they added the Tangled tower and bigger restroom area across the pathway where the Skyway station used to be.
(11/24/14) I completely forgot to mention the premier of the new version of “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” parade that started at the Magic Kingdom late last month, replacing the former “Move it! Shake it! Celebration It!” parade. (Seems my mind was elsewhere, consumed with Halloween fun at the time…)
Anyway, rather than just tell you about the new version of the parade, we can show it to you, thanks to a great update over at MouseSteps. It's hard to go wrong with a parade that now includes Phineas and Ferb in it.
(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.
Now Through 2015 - Central Plaza Hub Expansion - Under Construction - (1/18/15) MouseSteps takes a look at the Hub area construction progress and notes that the rehab on the Harmony Barber Shop has been pushed back from Feb. 1 to Feb 16th.
(1/16/15) The latest look at the progress being made at the Magic Kingdom's Hub area can be found at OrlandoParksNews this week.
(1/12/15) A construction update from the Magic Kingdom showing off the progress on The Hub area can be found at DaMouse.
(12/2/14) The construction onslaught continues around the Hub of the Magic Kingdom, and you can see the latest progress shots posted to OrlandoParksNews.
(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.