WDW News and Rumors 2/17/11 – 3/2/11

News

Magic Kingdom

  • The Haunted Mansion has been seeing it’s fair share of work lately.  First are the changes that are coming with the Next Gen Queue (some hints of what’s to happen from peeks that have been seen through the walls include the Sea Captain and the Organ Player getting significant grave sites.)  Also, yet another change that appears to be on it’s way is taking place at the end of the attraction.  The ghosts are currently no longer hitching a ride with you in your car (meaning, they currently are not sitting with you as they always have been.)  However, word is this not final and instead just a temporary fix.  So, don’t freak out…it should not stay this way.  When all is said and done, the ghosts should be returning and interacting with you in the car.  Rumors are indicating that the expansion (at least to the queue area, but possibly to the attraction as a whole) could be done as soon as 3-4 weeks.
  • More changes at the MK are being seen, as a permit was filed for removal of the Skyway.  Now…it is unclear as to where exactly the work is specifically going on.  The permit’s address that was filed was not for the Skyway Station in Fantasyland, though rumors have been floating around that that particular station’s days are numbered as Disney may be looking to expand the pathway in that area in preparation for the crowds that are expected when the New Fantasyland opens up.  (Also, it’s being rumored that Disney wants to add a Next Gen Queue for Peter Pan and that is bit hard to do currently.)  The permit could however be for an area near where the Dueling Dumbos are going to be sitting, with many thinking that there may be a significant concrete work under the ground that will need to be removed from the Skyway’s turn that was in that area.  (This to me, is the most likely option as of right now, since this is an area that’s currently being worked on.)
  • When guests go to meet Mickey in the Town Square Theater starting in the Spring, they will have the option to obtain a FASTPASS to meet him.  It will work just like FASTPASS does for attractions.  When you pick one up, you’ll be designated a one hour return window for later in your park day.   But guests will still be able to stand in the standby line…and will be entertained by a brand new NextGen Queue.
  • As a note, the official Grad Nights will take place April 29th and 30th and May 6th and 7th.

Epcot

  • The Flower and Garden Festival begins today.
  • The Leave a Legacy design that was painted on Spaceship Earth is now a thing of the past.  In addition there have been some major changes being made in Innoventions Plaza, including the removal of the whirlygigs.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • ESPN The Weekend will take place this weekend, March 4th – 6th.
  • The Toy Story Meet and Greet has extended it’s hours.  The meet and greet will last from 9:30 am til park closing with a break for the Pixar Pals Countdown To Fun Parade (from 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm.)
  • Guests who are fans of the Fried Chicken, the Meatloaf, and the Pot Roast at 50s Prime Time Cafe no longer have to choose between one of the 3 for their meal.  Now they will have the opportunity to eat all 3 in a brand new tasting plate.
  • Disney Junior: Live on Stage is set to open on March 4th.  Shows are scheduled for 9:40 am, 10:30 am, 11:20 am, 12:10 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:20 pm, 3:20 pm, 4:10 pm, 5:00 pm and 5:50 pm

 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • The park is now no longer offering Evening Extra Magic Hours.  No idea if this is a permanent change, but for the foreseeable future, Evening Extra Magic Hours have not been scheduled.  Morning Extra Magic Hours are still listed on the schedule for this park.

General WDW Resort

  • The Yacht and Beach Club’s boat dock refurb has been extended to March 24th.
  • Disney announced quite a bit about their NextGen Project recently.  Some of the items that were mentioned as options included things like the ability to reserve FASTPASS times before a vacation even starts, being able to obtain room keys in advance of a vacation, personalization on attractions and with characters in the parks, even more interactive queues, and behind the scenes systems that help Disney enhance the guest experience by increasing things like operations and dealing with crowd control.

Rumors

Magic Kingdom

  • When the Princess take their place in the Town Square Theater they will also have FASTPASS.  In addition, a new gift shop will be available when you exit.
  • There’s a rumor that something major could be taking place on Tom Sawyer Island.

 

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • A Cars 2 meet and greet should be taking place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  No word on which characters will be doing the meeting yet.
  • It’s being said that the Hollywood Studios parking lot is going to be reconfigured and the entrance near the Boardwalk may be closed.
  • According to pins that are to be released with the new Star Tours attraction, we may have an idea of some of the destinations that we may be visiting and also what may be happening in those locations.  To find out more, check here for the details.

News and Rumors are gathered from various different sources. All rumors are rumors and are to be taken as such

Rikki Niblett is a co-host of the Be Our Guest Podcast and runs the blog, A Disney World After All.

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