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---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(4/23/14) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Update (MORE...)
(4/22/14) Anna and Elsa Now In Fantasyland (MORE...) / Hub Construction Update (MORE...)
(4/16/14) Imagineers Test Ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (MORE...)
(4/15/14) Amazing New Seven Dwarf Animatronics (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Pirates - 4/28/14 through 5/1/14
TTA / Peoplemover - 5/3/14 through 6/30/14
Astro Orbiter - 5/3/14 through 8/20/14
Park News - (4/22/14) Anna and Elsa have now made the trek over from Norway at Epcot over to their new home at the Magic Kingdom. Check out their new digs in the latest update at MouseSteps this week. On a related note, I saw several reports from over the weekend, reporting a 3 hour long Standby wait just to meet them. Ouch!
(3/17/14) Walt Disney World reports that starting on April 20th, Anna and Elsa (the sisters from Frozen) will be moving from their current digs at Epcot’s Norway Pavilion over to the Magic Kingdom where they will set up a new Meet & Greet experience alongside the other Disney royals at the Princess Fairytale Hall.
(3/8/14) I thought I had mentioned this before, but seems I forgot, so forgive me… but the US Disney Parks will be hosting another 24 hour day event in 2014 where you can “Rock Your Disney Side” all night long. The event will kick off at 6:00am on May 23rd at the Magic Kingdom in Florida and inside both of the Disneyland Resort theme parks, where they will stay open non-stop through to 6:00am on May 24th, 2014.
(2/14/14) A small fire broke out on the roof of the Little Mermaid attraction building last night, sparked by fireworks debris from the evening’s show. Damage was said to be minimal by the time the fire was put out, though the attraction will likely remain closed today while they inspect the site.
(2/12/14) For those who have heard some of the rumors, I’ll cover this briefly. PUSH, the talking trash can that has graced the Tomorrowland pathways and entertained guests since the mid 1990’s has been retired from service this week when the contract between Disney and his creator came to an end and was not renewed. PUSH was a great and unique character, so it is sad to see him go… but like all things within the Disney park realm, nothing stays the same forever.
(2/2/14) Disney Insider has released some AMAZING historical pictures showing off the first Space Mountain structure under construction back in the 70’s. Not just the coaster part itself, but how the iconic structure itself was built from the ground up is fascinating to see. Check it out.
(1/14/14) As was previously rumored, Disney will be turning off all the old paper style FastPass machines at the Magic Kingdom and switching to the FastPass+ only system starting on January 14th… TODAY. Animal Kingdom switched over during the Christmas break, which leaves Epcot and the Studios as the only parks still using the old legacy paper-based system for the time being. I’d expect to see both of these parks also switched over before the start of Summer.
(1/6/14) New pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as well as a peek at the new expanded bus stops outside the park have been posted to ThemeParkTourist this week. They post a fair word of warning, that guest staying at the Art of Animation Resort will be in for an extra long walk, as they are at the furthest bus stop.
(12/24/13) A section of Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom was evacuated on Saturday after an unknown person called in a bomb threat to the park. Investigators arrived to search the area and upon finding no sign of foul-doing, determined that it must have simply been a prank call and allowed Tomorrowland reopen to guests by that evening.
(11/28/13) A new milestone was reached at the Magic Kingdom in the delayed, but ongoing roll out of the MyMagic+ system. The park has slowly been adding the new ‘touch point’ style open entry lanes to the park and yesterday replaced the final set of old fashioned turnstiles with the new touch point entry system. The replacement of this last turnstile gate now means that all of the Walt Disney World Resort park entrances are now entirely turnstile free.
Fantastic news for the WDW crew for sure… unless you were planning on hunkering down in the Disney parks when the Zombie Apocalypse comes. If so, I suggest you revisit your survival plan. May I suggest your local Costco instead?
(10/28/13) Rumor has it that some kind of upgrade may be planned for the Mickey’s PhilharMagic theater in Fantasyland later this year. I’m not sure if this may be an upgrade to the theater building itself, or to the projection / effects equipment, or all of the above. Anyone know more about what may be in the works?
(10/23/13) Looks like the Talking Mickey technology that was been testing on and off at Disneyland for the last few year has finally come to the Magic Kingdom park this week, as the Backstage Mickey character meet ‘n greet with guests can now speak… or at least with a limited dialog of pre-recorded phrases.
(10/14/13) New changes have been made to the “HARD” difficulty level of the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom interactive collectible card game. According to the Disney Parks Blog each time you play the Hard mode the various villain’s weakness will change, making the game both different and more of a challenge to beat each time you play.
To figure out the new weakness, you must cast several different spell types at the same time in the first turn of the battle, and keep an eye on the power levels of the spells you cast. If one spell type in particular hits the villain at full strength over the others, you’ll know that is the type of spells you need to defeat the villain.
Note: This change has only been made to the HARD level… Easy and Medium level of game play has not changed at all.
(9/10/13) The much awaited WDW debut of the infamous Glow With the Show Ear hats from the Disneyland Resort has now been confirmed at last. Look for the Glow With the Show Ears to premier at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Fantasmic! on October 15th. (And there was much rejoicing…)
According to the Disney Parks Blog, that date marks the 15th Anniversary of Fantasmic at the Studios. Also starting on October 19th the ears will also become part of “Wishes” and “Celebrate the Magic” at the Magic Kingdom, and they will also be put to use during the Christmas holiday season when you visit the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in the studios.
Now, I’m a little surprised they aren’t putting them to use at Illuminations at Epcot yet. It kind of makes me wonder if there may be some pending changes in the works that may need to take place first. Or perhaps the viewing area is just too big and they haven’t finished installing the necessary infrastructure needed to make the Ears work yet. After all, World Showcase is a big place.
Spring 2014 - Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - (4/23/14) A great new look around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction area has been posted by OrlandoParksNews.com. On a related note, the Orlando Sentinel has also posted details about a new interactive game that will be found inside the attraction’s queue area allowing players to scoop up gems from a sluice box.
(4/16/14) Some new photo and video footage of Disney Imagineers test riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been posted by DaMouse this week.
(4/15/14) Disney has released an amazing new video showing off some the new animatronic characters going into the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, which feature detailed physical animation abilities, but also internal video projection systems used for the facial animations.
(4/10/14) Walt Disney World has released a new and awesome animated look at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride this week, as the railway hauls precious gems through the hillsides.
(4/9/14) Is there an issue with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train?
Some interesting pictures were sent my way this morning, featuring workers focusing on an area of the ride layout doing some digging, breaking out a jack hammer and the track in the area looks like it may have been welded for some reason. Lots of WDI types were seen hanging around the site this morning making lots of phone calls as well along with at least one person with “Vekoma Rides” on the back of his safety vest. Curious…
Not to worry however, testing resumed later on the same day with what appeared to be fully weighted trains, along with some riders from Vekoma. According to our watcher, the speed of the train appeared to be hindered along the way by some trim braking systems as well, rather than running at full speed. They sent a final picture showing off the track section they were working on, as seen during the test runs. I’m not entirely sure what all that extra hardware is.
On a better note, the attraction’s very cool looking lighting package has been lighting up Fantasyland after dark as of late, through the use of dozens of yellow flame like colored lantern lights scattered throughout the entire mountain and nearby pathways. You can see pictures of the area after dark posted to DaMouse this week.
(3/20/14) More construction walls around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train have come down, offering up excellent new views all around the park’s major new attraction. See the latest pictures posted to DaMouse.
(3/18/14) Good news… I’m told that Cast Members will begin training to run the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train starting on April 20th. UPDATE - Other CM’s will begin to train at Seven Dwarfs well before April 20th as well.
(3/6/14) Care to see what New Fantasyland looks like from the top of the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride? The Disney Parks Blog has done just this, posting the view to be seen in two directions from the top of the mountain.
(2/26/14) BestOfOrlando goes over why it has taken 20 years for Walt Disney World to finally transform the former 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride into the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this week. They also point out what I’ve heard also, that there will be a 3-day long official WDW Media Event that will see the new ride given the grand opening treatment taking place from April 30 to May 2nd. That said… expect to see the ride quietly soft-open to the public as far as a month ahead of this media event.
From what I’m told, Imagineers have already begun taking test rides late at night after the park is closed. They’ve already posted a fun side-by-side comparison video of what a ride on it looks like, shot at night, alongside the preview animation of the ride experience. Oh… and according to the online chat event that took the other day, the height limit will be 38 inches.
(2/24/14) The Disney Parks Blog will host an online live chat today (Monday, February 24th) all about the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at 2:30pm EST. Click here and join in on the fun!
(2/13/14) The latest photo update from DaMouse not only shows off the highly themed environement built for the Seven Dwarfs coaster, but also shows off weighted coaster trains taking full speed test runs around the course.
(2/12/14) The construction walls have come down around one section of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, allowing a full viewing of the very attractive scenery and landscape that Disney Imagineering has surrounded their latest roller coaster with. Take a peek with MouseSteps.
(2/10/14) More great images showing off close-up views of the themeing going into the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train have been posted by the Disney Parks Blog.
(2/5/14) The latest look at the Seven Dwarfs ride can be found at Orlando Park News this week, as well as a peek at various other construction projects taking place throughout the Magic Kingdom.
(2/2/14) The Disney Parks Blog gives us a peak inside the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this week, with a close up look at some of the amazing themed textures we will find in the queue and attraction area when it finally opens to guests. Speaking of which, while there has been no further update on a soft-opening date, I’m told that the official grand opening and press event for the ride has been set sometime in early May 2014.
(1/30/14) DaMouse takes a look around the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this week as the many artificial trees and shrubbery are put into place around the outer edge of the attraction area. Give it a look and “bring me a shrubbery!”
(1/27/14) The latest buzz from Screamscape sources is that despite a desire to open the new Seven Dwarfs coaster in February, the project is a bit behind schedule and is now looking at an opening date sometime between late March to early April if all goes well.
(1/13/14) Time to check back in on the Seven Dwarfs, as the their new coaster is getting closer to actually opening and has been seen starting to make semi-regular test runs. Casey’s hot dog stand on Main Street is also closed and walled off for some kind of refurbishment. Check out the latest pictures over at OrlandoParksNews.
(1/10/14) Time to check in with those lazy Seven Dwarfs and their crazy Mine Train project… images courtesy of MouseSteps. Why isn’t this open yet?
(1/7/14) Disney gives us an up close look at the new coaster trains for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride, showing off how they decorated, painted and treated the trains to give them just the right themed look and texture.
(12/31/13) Lets take one last look at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in 2013, thanks for OrlandoParkNews for the update.
(12/19/13) New pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train testing have been posted to MouseSteps this week.
(12/18/13) A new look at the ongoing construction on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been posted this week, thanks to DaMouse.
(12/10/13) I saw a picture of these guys installed onto the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train the other day and I thought that they looked familiar… and I guess my hunch was right. Disney has confirmed that they have installed scenic elements (vultures) at the top of the mine train’s first lift hill that were once part of the old Snow White’s Scary Adventures dark ride.
(12/3/13) OrlandoParksNews takes a look at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this week.
(11/26/13) A brief video showing off one of the trains making a test run on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train can be found at Facebook.
(11/12/13) A new construction update from New Fantasyland has been posted by OrlandoParkNews this week.
(11/5/13) It is time for another look at the progress being made on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride this week, thanks to our friends at DaMouse. Much of the attraction area has been fleshed out already and shaped. While there are still several yellow unfinished sections, I don’t think these will be around much longer given the rapid progress we are seeing elsewhere. Check it out!
(10/29/13) A new construction update from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train can be found at OrlandoParkNews this week.
(10/24/13) DaMouse is back with a new look at the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction site.
(10/22/13) A new photo update from the Magic Kingdom showing off the latest progress on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Coaster as well as other rehab projects ongoing around the park has been posted to OrlandoParksNews.
(9/30/13) A new construction update for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been posted to OrlandoParksNews.
(9/25/13) Great news from the Magic Kingdom this week as Disney reports that following the completion of the push/pull car test, they successfully ran an entire train out of the station under it’s own gravity, completing the “first drop out of the station”. You can see a couple of pictures at the Disney Parks Blog.
(9/19/13) MouseSteps latest update features picture of an ore cart on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train track, loaded with weights in a couple of seats to make one of the cars tilt and undergoing a pull-through around a section of track.
(9/18/13) A tweet from Disney confirms that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has begun push/pull testing. They also tweeted a picture of a coaster car inside what might be the station area… showing off the unique flooring configuration (slot car) that hides the coaster car’s tracks below the floor, allowing only the ore cart to be seen sliding through the station.
(8/5/13) A new construction update from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction site has been posted to DaMouse.
(7/18/13) DaMouse takes a look at the Seven Dwarfs coaster today as a lot of the new themed rockwork and mine shaft entrances are starting to become more visible.
(7/2/13) According to a twitter post by Walt Disney World the first of the new Ore Mine Cars for the new Seven Dwarves coaster in New Fantasyland has arrived on site and can be seen here.
(6/13/13) DaMouse takes us in for a look at the current progress on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this week.
(6/6/13) Disney reports that the last pieces of track for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has been installed at last. Don’t get too excited however, as you will still have to wait until 2014 to ride it.
(4/29/13) A new construction footage video showing off what’s going on inside the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction site like never before was released by Disney. Check it out below.
(4/25/13) A new construction update from the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride has been posted to OrlandoParksNews.
(4/5/13) A new series of panoramic pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train can be found by clicking on the April 4th update here.
(3/28/13) DaMouse has posted a new construction update focusing on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train this week as they pour concrete down on the structure to form the fake mountainside.
(3/14/13) OrlandoParksNews has posted a new update from Fantasyland this week showing off the progress on the new coaster as well as a look at the new Tangled themed area.
(3/11/13) A great collection of panoramic pictures of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train can be found at MyThemeParkFanatic this week. Just click on the first picture to expand the view.
(2/18/13) Negative-G dropped into the Magic Kingdom in late January and posted a general trip report here. You can jump ahead to see some good pictures of the Seven Dwarves construction site here.
(1/21/13) Thanks to a reader for sending in a good batch of new construction photos from the Seven Dwarves construction site.
(12/31/12) I managed to squeeze in a personal visit to The Magic Kingdom in myself on Christmas Eve (warning: the crowds are at an OMG-Run For Your Lives! level…) and took four great shots of the Seven Dwarves coaster under construction. You can now get a pretty clear look at how the layout will go, as I drew out for everyone earlier this month, and the footers for the outdoor track sections are fairly clear to see at this point as well.
(11/7/12) As I mentioned a few days ago, the huge network of steel mesh is now being added to the Seven Dwarves structures, serving as the hidden framework for what will eventually look like a fake themed landscape. Check out the latest pictures at DaMouse.
(11/5/12) A reader sent in a couple of pictures showing off the structure we can see so far for the Seven Dwarves ride. You can make out the top of the second lift hill (the enclosed one) coming out from the structure where it will make dive and turn slightly to the right to go under a bridge structure, where it will turn around the head back over the top that that same bridge into the final turns before the ride ends. At the top of this lift hill, inside the structure, I’ve been told to expect a scene very similar to the one used at the top of the first lift hill on Hong Kong’s Big Grizzly coaster. There will be a track switch scene, with a fake alternate mine tunnel turning off to the right, but Dopey will do something to accidently hit the track switch and instead of going into the Diamond Mine, you’ll be sent dropping down and out of the mine on the final runaway trip back to the station.
In case you’re wondering about all those little metal poles and based on the room of the structure, those will eventually hold a network of twisted steel mesh that will become the outer coating and fake rockwork of the hill and dwarves home.
(10/17/12) Screamscape has compiled a layout drawing for the Seven Dwarves coaster, and I’ve put it down as a two dimensional overlay over a recent aerial photo of the construction site borrowed with permission from DizFanatic, with special thanks to photographer Scott Keating.
As for the coaster specs, we know about how the themed ore cars will swing side to side, and I believe we can expect to see up to three 5-car trains used on the coaster, with each car holding four riders, so 20 riders per train. It also appears as if the majority of the dark ride scenes will take place in the building leading to and up the second lift hill. The top of this second lift hill is the piece of track we’ve been seeing poking out from the tallest section of the existing structure already in place.
(10/2/12) Some interesting footage about the development and design process WDI has gone through for the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train can be found in a video here. Just fast-forward up to the area between 20-25 minutes to see some unique pictures and animated test footage of the new coaster.
(3/23/11) Despite the concept artwork released to date, Screamscape has heard it said before, and once again now, that the Seven Dwarves coaster will mostly be an outdoor ride. I’ve also heard that it may not be ready to open until 2014 right now, though these kind of things are subject to change.
(1/29/11) Everyone has been wondering just what we can expect from the Seven Dwarves coaster and according to this interview with Disney Imagineer Eric Jacobson, the experience will be somewhere in between Big Thunder Mountain and Goofy’s Barnstormer. By the end of the ride, the cars your in are supposed to be so full of jewels from the mine, they’ll tip side to side to “unload their cargo”.
(1/19/11) Disney World held a special media event on Tuesday to talk about all kinds of exciting new things. A big part of this was to unveil the revised plans for the New Fantasyland project, which will nearly double the size of Fantasyland. Disney has confirmed that The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride is real and on the way to New Fantasyland. According to the description the mine train will, “take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs.” Interesting bit about the coaster cars and how they moved with the turns. I’m wondering if they really “swing” side to side, or sway or perhaps more of a fishtail.
Spring 2014 - Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade - (3/10/14) Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom premiered their new Festival of Fantasy Parade at last on Sunday and DaMouse caught the entire performance on video. The new floats are simply stunning in detail and huge in scale. Plus the parade has a ton of talented performers in excellent costumes throughout. This may be one of the best Disney parades designed to date, so check it out below!
(2/26/14) Walt Disney World has confirmed that the new Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will begin performing on March 9th at the Magic Kingdom. This is the first new major daytime parade to launch at the park in some time and features an armada of colorful parade floats and fascinating looking performers.
(1/7/14) The last performance of the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade at the Magic Kingdom took place on Saturday. You can catch a photo recap of this last performance over at OrlandoParksNews. The new Festival of Fantasy parade will replace it in the Spring.
(4/29/13) An all new parad
e will come to the Magic Kingdom in 2014 called the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade. This new daytime parade will start in Spring 2014 and bring all new colorful fancy floats, characters and an original soundtrack featuring beloved songs from your favorite Disney films mixed with a new parade theme song.
Now Through 2015 - Central Plaza Hub Expansion - Under Construction - (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.
2016/2017 - Tomorrowland Revamp - Rumor - (3/13/12) DisneyGossip has posted an interesting little rumor this week pondering a few interesting ideas. For example, some people have wondered why the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game has stations in every land except Tomorrowland. (Ok, theme wise it doesn’t quiet make sense to put a magic themed game in Tomrrowland, but that’s besides the point…)
The revamped and expanded Fantasyland, once complete will also draw in a lot of guests into the new realms, allowing for a period of time when Disney may be able to attempt another drastic update to Tomorrowland. Not just in the Magic Kingdom, but possibly also to clone it to work as the long desired Tomorrowland update needed at Disneyland as well.
If Tomorrowland is the next big revamp in the works, they claim that the land would likely get a new E-Ticket attraction as well as a C or D ticket style dark ride, possibly themed to WALL-E. While I would think that this may be the excuse needed to bring the Marvel Universe into Disneyland, DisneyGossip wonders if Avatar could be made to fit into Tomorrowland instead on both coasts. Some interesting ideas to think about either way…
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.