Walt Disney World
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(5/22/17) Solving The Hall of Presidents Problem (MORE...)
(5/14/17) Watch The New Happily Ever After Fireworks Spectacular (MORE...)
(5/9/17) This May Be Your Last Chance To See Stitch's Great Escape (MORE...)
(5/4/17) Magic Kingdom Fireworks Test (MORE...)
Ride Rehabs - The following information is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
Hall of Presidents - NOW CLOSED through June 29
Liberty Square Riverboat - Aug 1 through Aug 10
Splash Mountain - Aug 28 through Nov. 16
Park News - (5/22/17) With the initial closure period for the Hall of Presidents set to end after June 29th, Disney is apparently finding itself in a bit of a pickle as the politically sensitive debate over how they should handle the addition of President Trump has been hitting mainstream media once again. There is an active petition out there asking for Disney to make the Trump figure silent in the new attraction, rather than be given a speaking role.
Historically there is precedence for this, as in the original version of the attraction only the Washington and Lincoln figures would speak and the rest remained silent. It wasn't until the addition of President Clinton that the show was revised to allow for a brief speech from the current president of the time. This opens the door for Disney to either return the show to classic form, leave it in the current format, or perhaps even revise it again into some new unknown format.
While Disney has not confirmed what direction they will take with the show, and they could even delay the premier even longer if need be, I did see a comment that while they had opened a dialog with the White House back in January to try and set up a recording session, the White House has not gotten back with them with any open time period to do it.
This essentially gives Disney the perfect exit out of the turbulent political waters by making the choice for them with the perfect excuse that they were unable to schedule time with the President for a recording session in the time required to allow for the motion programming of the animatronic. Either way, we should know more in about a month at the latest unless Disney officially pushes back the reopening.
(5/14/17) The Magic Kingdom premiered their new Happily Ever After fireworks spectacular live on YouTube on Friday night and you can catch the entire performance for yourself down below to enjoy at your leisure, without having to stand shoulder to shoulder in a crowd. The new castle projections look truly amazing, mixed with Disney's well renowned bar-setting fireworks expertise. Check it out below!
(5/9/17) For those of you who have been missing Stitch's Great Escape, I'm hearing that it will soon reopen for the busy summer season, which looks to be from May 28 through to Aug. 19th. With a new attraction still rumored to be in development for the space, this may be your last chance to bid Stitch goodbye.
(5/4/17) A new video showing off a fireworks test launch at the Magic Kingdom (shot outside the park) for the new Happily Ever After! show was posted on YouTube this week. Check it out below.
(4/14/17) Tron, Tron, Tron... you may have seen rumors lately on other sites claiming that not just one, but a pair of new Tron coasters, are being considered as new additions to the Tomorrowlands in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
While not a lot has been said about a Disneyland location, it is interesting to note that the Tron coaster that opened at Shanghai Disneyland was originally envisioned as also having a copy in Disneyland, replacing the Innoventions building and running around some of the old Rocket Rods tunnels at one point before the concept was shelved for California. The new rumors for Florida suggest that the Magic Kingdom's aging Speedway attraction would be closed to make way for a copy of the Shanghai Tron coaster that would fit in just nicely next to that park's Space Mountain, possibly in time for the big 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.
Will it happen? While anything is possible, I'm hearing that these rumors really are just tall tales at this point, not much more than fanboy-fiction, and really nothing we should expect to see at this point unless something changes. From the sound of things Walt Disney World will have their hands full over the next several years with big makeover plans in store for Epcot, and in California they're still trying to finish Star Wars Land to be followed by more Marvel themed projects in DCA.
So as much as I'd love to see Tron come stateside... it doesn't look to be in the cards just yet.
(4/5/17) Walt Disney World has updated their bag check protocol around the Magic Kingdom to remove the bag-checking from right in front of the park, but instead adding several bag checkpoints at the Transportation and Ticket Center, Ferry dock, bus stops and resort side Monorail stations. You can read more over at Laughing Place.
(2/10/17) Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom park has announced that the loved Wishes fireworks show will soon come to an end and be replaced by an all new nighttime spectacular show called "Happily Ever After" starting on May 12th. The new show will feature fireworks, projection mapping and much more.
(1/20/17) Screamscape sources tell us that those crazy expensive cabana's in the Magic Kingdom will soon be no more. Apparently they are trying one final push with a discounted rate from now through to Feb. 17th... but once that is over, it sounds like the cabanas will be removed.
(12/30/16) It has been announced that Disney will soon make changes to the way they have traditionally opened the Magic Kingdom each morning, changing out the old "rope drop" ceremony at the turnstile area for something new. Currently a number of costumed characters arrive at the Main Street Railroad station along with some musical numbers proceeded by a brief countdown to the opening of the park each morning.
Starting on January 9th a new performance will take place at the Castle stage area, and guests will be allowed to enter the Main Street USA area and proceed towards the hub and Castle Stage area where at the proper time characters will arrive to open the rest of the park to guests. The removal of the current "Magic Kingdom Welcome Show" will also coincide with a planned closure and refurbishment of the Walt Disney World Railroad that will last through to at least March 2nd.
(12/19/16) According to various news reports the Magic Kingdom will be expanding the sale of beer and wine to four additional "table service" restaurants within the park. Traditionally the no alcohol was sold at all in the park until the introduction of the Be Our Guest restaurant a few years ago which was introduced as part of the New Fantasyland project, where beer and wine was sold only as part of the table service menu. Now it seems various items will be put on sale at Cinderella's Royal Table (in the castle), Tony's on Main Street, Liberty Tree Tavern and in the new Skipper Canteen. The nice thing at least is that the items sold will at least fit the themes of the restaurants, with Italian wines sold at Tony's, Champaign at the Royal Table, Hard Ciders and Beer at the Liberty Tree and a variety of exotic items going to the Skipper Canteen.
(12/10/16) Walt Disney World will be testing out the “Disney After Hours” extra ticket event program once again in 2017 for 7 dates to start with: Jan. 20, 27, Feb. 2, 9, 16, Mar. 2, 9. The program allows guests to pay extra for the experience to stay in the park after it closes to regular guests for an additional 3 hours where they can experience many of the park’s major attractions as well as enjoy complimentary beverages, popcorn and ice cream. The interesting thing is that Disney has cut the price this time around, and is charging $119 for the experience, down from the $149 price tag in 2016.
2018 - Wreck-It-Ralph Attraction - Rumor - (9/27/16) An interesting rumor has surfaced over at ThemeParkTourist this week, claiming that the future of the Stitch's Great Escape attraction may be to transform into a Wreck-It-Ralph attraction. According to the rumor the existing attraction could soon close entirely and be updated with some kind of VR hardware and headgear to transport guests into the world of Wreck-It-Ralph where they can take part in a Sugar Rush style racing adventure. While I havn't heard anything else myself on this rumor, the timing would make sense as Wreck-It-Ralph 2 is expected to hit theaters in March 2018.
2021 - 50th Anniversary Celebration / Park Expansion - Rumor - (10/26/16) According to Screamscape sources Walt Disney World may be planning some special treats for the Magic Kingdom when the park celebrates the big 50th Anniversary starting in Oct. 2021. From what I’m told, to help celebrate the 50th, each of the park’s major attractions will be given "a little extra magic" to make the park experience better than ever for the big celebration. Take that for what you will... though it kind of reminds me a little of what they did for Walt’s 100th Birthday celebration, where each park got a magical present in the form of a new attraction from another Disney park elsewhere in the world.
(4/17/16) I'm not sure of a timeline, but following along with the rumor that Walt Disney World is seeking over $3 billion from the corporate budget over the next several years to fund some major new capital expansion projects at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios parks, we've now hearing the focus of the Magic Kingdom's vision for the funds would be to expand the park behind Frontierland, perhaps seeking to follow the example of what is going on at Disneyland and fill in the area behind Tom Sawyer's Island with new attractions and maybe even a new land of some kind.
While the new Star Wars Land is going into this same general area out of California, the Magic Kingdom is an entirely different story, with nearly unlimited possibilities of what could possibly take residence in the area running from behind Big Thunder Mountain over to the Haunted Mansion.
Again... all rumors and speculation right now, but timeline-wise, this would match up perfectly with a way for Walt Disney World to ring in the resort’s big 50th Anniversary Celebration starting in late 2021, wouldn't it?
(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.
???? - Volcano Mountain / Moana Attraction - Rumor Only - (5/2/17) While it was just last week we brought up the latest rumor to shake through the Walt Disney World rumor mill... the revival of a plan to put a Volcano themed mountain attraction into Adventureland, possibly themed to Moana. Lots of excitement soon followed... but...
Well, I hate to do this again so soon after the Tron coaster story, but after checking with my own sources about this latest particular rumor... they essentially said "Nope!" Or at least, a "NO" for right now... because while there is always the chance that someone is trying to pitch an idea, that may be all it is and all it ever will be... because for right now the immediate future plans for the Magic Kingdom do not include the building of a new mountain ride at all.
Right now they are focused on a couple of other projects and preparing for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World itself in relation to The Magic Kingdom. Once all that is done and the celebration for the 50th is over... well maybe then we can talk again.
(4/28/17) I really haven't heard much about this rumor myself from first hand sources, but there is some buzz going about claiming that the Magic Kingdom may be looking into building a new mountain attraction, volcano themed to be exact, in Adventureland near the front of the park. Sound familiar? It should... we covered the initial rumor extensively many years ago at the start of the 21st Century, back when it was being called 'Fire Mountain' at the time.
Way back then, the rumor was that Fire Mountain would be home to an indoor, volcano themed flying coaster, with Disney apparently going to far as to sign initial working deals to come up with design and layout ideas with Vekoma for their, new at the time, Flying Dutchman coaster system, the prototype of which was being built at Paramount's Great America in California as Stealth to open in April 2000.
Well, as things go, the Vekoma system proved to be less than popular. Paramount Parks canceled their exclusive North American use of the system by failing to buy a second one, and it wasn't long before the Eisner era Disney got cold feet on the project as well, which was going to cost far more than they were willing to spend at the time. The idea was interesting however, as the entrance to the new Volcano themed area was said to be planned to be just to the left of the entrance of Pirates, placing the volcano behind the Pirates queue building, nestled into an undeveloped corner next to the back corner of the Jungle Cruise, where the Railroad tracks currently lie. It wasn't entirely known if the Railroad would pass through a volcano lava-tube themed tunnel through the base of the volcano, or if they would have simply re-tracked the railroad to go around the base of the volcano, but the placement of the massive Volcano structure in front of the monorail beam outside the park was sure to be a visual treat. On top of this, the volcano would have had a clear line of sight from the beaches at Disney's Polynesian Resort as well.
As I said, I haven't heard much first hand on this project yet, but as they say, no good project at Disney dies forever... they put it away and save it for another day when the time in right. In this case, a future re-birth of the concept was also revived in spirit as the idea for the Mt. Prometheus volcano at the center of Tokyo DisneySea, which is home to two Jules Verne themed attractions: Journey to Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Again... while that ship has also passed, it seems the call of Disney's Polynesian themed animated hit, Moana, is singing loudly, and it could be used as the theme for a new volcano themed adventure attraction in Adventureland. So is this another rumor gone wild like the Tron coaster in Tomorrowland, or is there any truth to this? Time will tell if this concept has traction or if this is yet another echo from the past.