Walt Disney World
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(3/28/20) Tron Rising, Stitch To Fall?
(3/13/20) Walt Disney World Theme Parks To Close For Rest of March (MORE...)
(3/5/20) Haunted Mansion Breakdown (MORE...)
(3/2/20) Tron Aerial Construction Photos Are Awesome (MORE...)
(2/29/20) Peoplemover Shut Down After Trains Bump (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Walt Disney World Railroad - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Big Thunder Mountain - May 4 through May 21
Park News - (3/28/20) Theme Park Tourist has made an interesting discovery, as demolition permits were discovered to be filed just before all the virus-shutdowns to gut and demolish the theater rooms formerly used for Stitch’s Great Escape. While it seems that perhaps Disney may have had a plan in place to repurpose these spaces, at this time it is likely more long-term plans like this may be put on hold until the Coronavirus is just a memory.
Anyone know more about what might have been planned?
(3/28/20) As expected, Disney did finally announce that their parks will remain closed until further notice. It was added that they are extending pay and benefits to Cast Members through April 18th, which falls roughly in line with Universal’s announcement timeline to extend their closure through April 19.
As these dates get closure we will have a better idea if Disney and Universal believe they might be ready to reopen around that time, or if it will have to be extended again until May.
(3/13/20) Walt Disney World announced last night that in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and “in the best interest of our Guests and Cast Members” they will be closing all of their Florida theme parks starting starting Monday, March 16th which will remain closed through to the end of the month. It is nice to see that Disney will continue to pay their Cast Members “during that closure period.”
The various Walt Disney World Resort Hotels and Disney Springs area will remain open as normal “until further notice”. The resorts staying open in Florida is where things differ from how the California resort is handling things, as the west coast resorts close on Monday. In Florida however, there are a large number of international tourists who are likely already on site who sometimes stay for 1 or even 2 weeks at a time and may not have anywhere else to go until their flight home.
(3/5/20) The string of bad-luck incidents at The Magic Kingdom continues this week as the Haunted Mansion is said to have closed down sometime late on Tuesday and has yet to reopen. Various reports on social media from riders claim that the Doombugies were not rotating to the correct position in certain scenes, which resulted in riders taking the downward section of track from the Attic to the Graveyard scene while facing forward (downhill) instead of facing backwards (uphill).
If memory serves, the rotation of the Doombuggies are controlled via mechanical means by the position of a special rail below the floor. More modern versions of the ride system (like on The Little Mermaid at the Magic Kingdom) replaced the need for this extra spin-control rail with a more modern system of programming to a built-in electrical motor. Now… I’m not a ride mechanic by any means, but assuming that the Doombuggies are still using this older system, incorrect spinning position would likely indicate a failure in the spin-control rail in this section of the ride, which would need to be fixed or replaced before they can reopen it.
(2/29/20) Another odd incident took place at The Magic Kingdom on Friday, the day after a Jungle Cruise boat sunk. According to various social media reports a set of trains on the TTA / Peoplemover collided (or maybe just bumped?) just before the end of the layout. The ride was E-Stopped and guests evacuated and walked off the ride. It was said that it reopened about 40 minutes later, so it sounds like this was not a serious issue. This event may have been overplayed a bit, as I’ve heard elsewhere that occasional bumps do happen from time to time as they approach the station, due to the speed change that takes place here. The bigger problem is that sometimes the other cars will continue to move and begin to pile up behind, causing more impacts until the power is cut to all the magnetic drive motors. No injuries were reported so far, which isn’t surprising given the slow speed of the vehicles.
(2/28/20) Oh my… would you believe that around 12:30pm on Thursday the Bomokandi Bertha, one of the boats on the Jungle Cruise at The Magic Kingdom, began taking on water during a cruise with a full load of guests and sunk. Well… sunk a couple of feet… because the river really isn’t much deeper than that, but the guests had to be evacuated into the Jungle to complete the trek on foot.
The attraction was closed long enough to evac the guests and tow the boat off the course before reopening later in the day. There are some great pics of the event posted to WDWNT and of course “the internet” community was quick to jump on this as well, with a great tweet posted below of the evac the added soundtrack from Titanic.
(2/19/20) The Disney Parks Blog has confirmed that Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom will be getting a ‘Royal Makeover’ in time for the big 50th Anniversary. From the look of the concept art, the royal blue spires will be given a nice touch up and a whole lot of gold trim will be added from top to bottom to really make the castle pop visually. The new look appears to be inspired by a similar makeover given to Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland last year.
(12/19/19) Good news for Muppets fans, the recently closed “The Muppets Present... Great Moments in History” show that took place at the Magic Kingdom will return for a seasonal run from December 23 through December 31.
(9/26/19) I’m not sure how firm this is, but hearing an early rumor that Walt Disney World may be looking into ideas to spruce-up or decorate Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of WDW on Oct. 1st, 2021.
While my mind immediately soars back to the 25th Anniversary where they turned the castle into a giant crazy looking pink birthday cake, I then have to think about how Disneyland also handled their own 50th Anniversary in 2005 by adding more subtle gold accents all around the castle exterior instead. While California’s concept was definitely more tasteful and elegant than how the giant castle cake was first received at first in Florida, looking at the long-term picture, few people remember or talk about the Disneyland castle, while even today the giant pepto-pink 25th birthday cake castle in Florida has simply become a legendary part of Disney history.
With that in mind, I think I’d be down for something crazy like another cake castle, because it certainly was photo-worthy and in today’s social media world, anything so “instragram-able” as that, certainly would get the kind of attention they will want to seek.
Unfortunately, I think Disney may have been dealing with too many fashion and mommy bloggers, because there is a nasty rumor going around claiming that they may simply give the castle an oh-so-tired, “rose gold” treatment instead and leave it at that. Let us hope they reconsider, and maybe just stick to a more elegant gold trim concept like Disneyland did, rather than go hog-wild on the tacky Rose Gold fad, or do something more creative and wild like the 25th Anniversary cake concept.
(9/20/19) I’ve never gotten the chance to see this particular live performance show at the Magic Kingdom, but I’m told that “The Muppets Present… Great Moments in History” outdoor show that began in 2016 in Liberty Square will end it’s current run on September 30th.
(9/18/19) While the Tomorrowland archway over the land entrance at the Magic Kingdom was removed a bit ago, a brand new and all white, replacement arch looks to have been put up after park close on Monday night. From the look of things, more elements and lighting will be added to it soon.
(6/4/19) The Magic Kingdom will premier a brand new fireworks show this winter during the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party hard-ticket events. The show is called Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks and will feature many popular holiday songs. Look for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to take place on select nights between Nov. 8 and Dec. 22, 2019.
2021 - TRON Lightcycle / Run - (3/28/20) A quick video showing off the state of the Tron attraction at the Magic Kingdom was taken just before the shelter-in-place went into effect in the area can be seen below. Work crews, before construction was halted appeared to be putting up the wall panels to enclose the massive building's framework.
(3/2/20) BlogMickey has posted some real fantastic aerial photos of the TRON coaster construction site, showing off how it all fits together into the Tomorrowland landscape with the equally massive Space Mountain structure sitting right next door. Make the jump and take a quick look!
(2/15/20) A Screamscape source sent in some new pictures showing off the outside progress on the Tron attraction going up in Tomorrowland. As you can see they see to be busy putting up the walls to enclose the attraction building now, but there are also plenty of footers placed outside that should be used to hold up the shaped and light-up roof structure that will cover the outdoor portion of the ride and attraction entrance pathway.
Based on the look of things, I wouldn't count on seeing the railroad run through here anytime soon, as they still have a lot of work to do before they can build the new railroad tracks through here.
(12/18/19) According to the Disney Parks Blog, the Magic Kingdom has set up a pair of TRON Lightcycles for guests to climb onto and take their pictures with in the Magic Kingdom as a preview for the upcoming new TRON Lightcycle / Run coaster attraction opening in 2021.
(11/27/19) Earlier this month Disney’s construction crews installed the final piece of track onto the Tron Lightcycle / Run attraction. You can watch the video of it being set in place below.
(11/22/19) Thanks to one of our readers for sending in great new photos of the Tron coaster under construction at The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. These are fantastic images from a new point of view we haven’t seen before and gets up close to the outdoor portion of the track that was installed recently.
(10/30/19) A new Tron construction photo update can be found over at MouseSteps this week, and the big surprise is that a ton of outdoor track for the coaster has now been installed. At this rate, I’d expect the layout to be complete by sometime next week of all goes well.
(10/24/19) A large batch of new photos of the Tron Lightcycle Run coaster under construction have been posted to Midway Mayhem’s Instagram. The launch track is now installed and the large supports are being set into place for the outdoor portion of the coaster.
(10/9/19) A great aerial photo showing off the entire Tron Lightcycle coaster construction site can be seen here. The main indoor track is complete, and you can spot the brake run and switch into the left/right loading station tracks. From here you can spy the footers in place for the rest of the station and turn into the launch track and big outdoor turn in place. From here you can also see why the Railroad is still not running, and obviously wont be back up anytime soon. Maybe sometime in mid to late 2020 perhaps.
(9/10/19) A new construction photo report from the Magic Kingdom shows off the status of the Tron Lightcycle Run coaster this week where the building framework is now quickly surrounding the coaster, while a huge dirt pile is being built up in front of it all for some reason.
(9/6/19) A new construction video showing off the progress on the Tron Lightcycle coaster being built at Magic Kingdom can be seen below.
(7/12/19) Some fantastic aerial footage of the Tron coaster under construction was posted by a local news station. You can see the track for the double sided loading station has been installed, and while the launch track is not in place yet, you can see the footers in place for the outdoor portion of the ride following the launch, before the LightCycles venture back into the attraction show building.
(6/21/19) Some great new photos of the Tron coaster under construction at the Magic Kingdom were posted to MouseSteps this week. From the look of things most of the “indoor” action part of the ride’s layout is now in place. Based on the layout drawing we have, the tallest section you see would be the first ‘red arrow’ the ride encounters where is at the point where the outdoor portion of the ride rises up and enters the building. The rest of the tangled mess matches up to this layout, ending with the final red arrow (aka: brake run) as the coaster will head towards the return passage back to the load/unload station.
And really… that’s all there is to the ride, other than the high speed out and back it will perform outside the main show building just after the launch. If you are thinking that this ride appears to be very short compared to the new Hagrid’s coaster that just opened at Universal, then you would be right. Assuming this is a clone of the Shanghai ride, then the overall track length is said to be 3,169 ft, compared to the new Universal ride which is almost 2,000 feet longer.
(6/4/19) Just the other day we saw a giant batch of black steel supports up on the Tron coaster site at the Magic Kingdom, but you wont believe what it looks like now. Seriously… the site is jam packed full of supports and huge sections of complete track. It’s hard to believe just how fast this coaster is rising now. Check out the video below from Midway Mayhem along with a look at a new odd bit of construction taking place in front of the Magic Kingdom near the bus stops.
(5/22/19) Good news for Tomorrowland fans, as the Tomorrowland Speedway is now open once again. A good assortment of photos of the reopened attraction have been posted to MouseSteps this week.
Then be sure to check out their new collection of Tron coaster construction photos as well.
(5/6/19) A few pictures showing off a collection of the first large black coaster supports now installed for the Tron coaster at the Magic Kingdom can be seen at WDWNT this week. If we assume that the layout here is the same as the one in Shanghai Disneyland, then I’ve also got a graphic showing off the basic layout of the coaster for you as well.
(4/27/19) MouseSteps drops into the Magic Kingdom this week to check out the construction on the new Tron coaster and the impact to the nearby Tomorrowland Speedway attraction.
(4/24/19) Disney & More has posted a great update with a number of new photos of the Tron construction site in Tomorrowland. Still not a lot of vertical construction to see as they are still working on all the groundwork and foundation for the new attraction.
(3/19/19) We can look forward to seeing the steel of the Tron coaster at the Magic Kingdom soon begin to rise. According to a posting at the Disney Parks Blog, Cast Members were invited to sign their names on one of the first steel supports for the ride that has arrived on property.
(1/11/19) New photos posted to WDWNT show that a big section of the Tomorrowland Speedway has now been torn out to make way for construction on the new Tron Lightcycle coaster project. Don’t worry, the Speedway will return eventually… though personally I think they should have taken the opportunity to totally vamp the Speedway into a Sugar Rush themed race ride from the Wreck It Ralph films. The two attractions would have fit in nicely next to each other I think.
(7/20/17) Fans of TRON, your day has come, because Disney confirmed at the D23 Expo that a copy of the Tron Lightcycle Power Run coaster attraction will indeed be coming to the Magic Kingdom in time for the 50th Anniversary of WDW in 2021. The Speedway will survive however, as Tron will be placed just to the left of Space Mountain, with the main attraction building residing on the other side of the railroad tracks, just like Space Mountain.
I've got a feeling we'll see some renovations take place on the Tomorrowland Speedway, along with a reconfiguration of the track layout, in order to accommodate the new Tron coaster. Now... can we talk about putting a third Tron film onto the production slate as well?
???? - New Tomorrowland Attraction - Rumor - (10/1/19) Ever since Stitch’s Great Escape was fast-tracked for retirement there have been several rumors claiming that Imagineering was working on possible replacement ideas. The rumor that got the most traction was for a rumored attraction concept that might have used VR gear to bring the world and characters of the Wreck-It Ralph to virtual life. While people still pine for this concept to this day, it was not to be… though I was sent an interesting new message today claiming that another new concept for the empty space may now be in development.
With that in mind, we have to ask if anyone out there has heard any new rumors about what could take over this space. As for Wreck-It Ralph… I still believe that Disney has already missed their best opportunity by failing to transform the Tomorrowland Speedway into a Sugar Rush themed race-course.
???? - Haunted Mansion Hotel - Rumored Proposal - (7/14/17) While nothing has been officially set in stone regarding the building of a Star Wars themed hotel in Walt Disney World outside the Studios park, a brief conversation about it resulted in another fascinating bit of information. Towards the end of my article about the Star Wars Hotel I recalled a bit of information about how Disney had previously pitched another resort concept years before that would have been themed to the Haunted Mansion. If you haven't read that story yet, you might want to go read it first and come back.
A little birdie has told me that Disney uncovered and went over those old Haunted Mansion Hotel plans while they were working on the Star Wars Hotel proposal and if the Star Wars Hotel gets approved and turns out to be a big hit, Disney is now eyeballing some land behind the Haunted Mansion itself where they could actually build an on-site hotel in the future. While there isn't a ton of room back there right now, they were apparently inspired by the reshaping of the Rivers of America project at Disneyland that helped reclaim some land for their Star Wars Land by shortening the river. If they opt to go ahead with a Haunted themed hotel experience, they will likely do the same thing to the Magic Kingdom at some point in the future in order to increase the amount of land available for park use.