Walt Disney World today announced its celebration plans for July 4, 2013, as well as what it calls ‘Independence Week’ (July 1-7), part of its year-long ‘Limited Time Magic’ campaign.
All week long, Walt Disney World will present its special fireworks program, ‘Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky’ at the Magic Kingdom, described as a ’15-minute 360-degree fireworks spectacular.’ Prior to the daily afternoon parade, ‘Celebrate a Dream Come True,’ Goofy, Donald and Pluto will lead a spirited procession down Main Street, U.S.A. The rousing pre-parade also features the Main Street Philharmonic, Citizens of Main Street and Walt Disney’s historic horse-drawn calliope. Patriotic-themed merchandise and tasty treats inspired by Americana will also be on the menu all week long.
Plans for the individual parks for Independence Day only include:
Epcot: Discovery Experiences at American Adventure spotlight American history and heritage. Guests can meet with Disney characters adorned in patriotic dress. An afternoon of live entertainment kicks off at 12:30 pm in the America Gardens Theatre with the Voices of Liberty Fourth of July concert. This holiday special is a harmonizing partnership of the eight-part, a capella Voices of Liberty, Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps and Disney characters. The Heartbeat of Freedom, a special tribute following IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth lights up the sky at 10 p.m.
- Characters in patriotic dress are on set from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and from 3:30 – 6 p.m. outside near Kidcot (under the porte-cochere)
- Voices of Liberty showtimes at America Gardens Theatre are 12:30, 1:45, and 3 p.m. They are also doing two sets inside the American Adventure Rotunda at 4:15 and 5 p.m.
- Special showtimes for Slippery When Wet (Sounds Like Summer concert series) on the Fourth of July are 5:15, 6:30, 7:45, and 9 p.m.
Disney Hollywood Studios: Enjoy a twist on traditional fireworks with the all-new ‘Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration.’ The party begins at the Sorcerer Hat with a DJ at 6 pm. At 7, 8, 9 and 10 p.m., Mulch, Sweat & Shears will take you on a musical road trip through America. Everything leads up to a special rock ‘n roll fireworks presentation at 10:15 p.m.
Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky
In addition to some of the upcoming additions to the Disney Cruise Line Disney Magic that we reported earlier today, we have some details on Walt Disney World’s ‘Monstrous Summer’ that are expected to be confirmed/announced later this week during a press event.
To confirm reports from other sources, on May 24, 2013, the Magic Kingdom will play host to a 24 hour party, which will feature appearances by Mike Wazowski and James P. ‘Sulley’ Sullivan as their Monsters University meet and greet persona, as pictured here.
The Magic Kingdom will also be ‘updating’ its Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor attraction so that jokes and the material presented will honor the performers’ alma mater.
Also being updated is the duo’s permanent meet and greet location at Disney’s Hollywood Studios which will be transformed from the current Monsters Inc. work environment to the MU student union.
And perhaps quite unsurprisingly, a monorail wrap which is Disney is already promoting as the ‘Monsterail’ will make its resort debut in support of Disney/Pixar’s Monsters University, in theaters June 21, 2013.
UPDATE #1: 04/24/13 – The official Disney Parks blog has confirmed the ‘monsterail’ monorail wrap and has provided the concept art in which the students of Monsters University appear to be riding the monorail:
According to internal documents dating various refurbishments around the Walt Disney World, we can currently expect Walt Disney World’s first in-park Starbucks to open at the Magic Kingdom theme park on May 18, 2012.
The restaurant will be located at the Main Street Bakery which is scheduled for closure between January 6, 2013 and May 17, indicating it will emerge as a Starbucks-branded location on May 18, 2013. As with its west coast counterpart, the Main Street, USA location Starbucks will remain themed to its location with cast members donning costumes that lend themselves to the theme park’s land.
This will be the second of six announced in-park locations, one at each theme park between the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. The first opened earlier this year at Disney California Adventure as part of the new Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café in the Buena Vista Street area of the park. A location at Epcot’s Fountain View has also been announced, though it will close for its changeover at some point in March, re-opening in late summer.
Another recently announced upcoming closures at the Walt Disney World resort include: Liberty Belle (February 1 – 7), Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage (January 7 – 12), Disney Junior: Live on Stage (January 14 – February 13) and Kali River Rapids (January 6 – February 15).
The brand-new ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ Pirates of the Caribbean experience began operating in soft opening mode this morning, allowing the first guests to visit the high-tech show and enter the world of the popular film franchise. The attraction, which will officially open on December 6, 2012, is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in Soundstage 4 (between Toy Story Mania! and the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream exhibit.
Like its predecessor, the Chronicles of Narnia experiences, the show begins in a pre-show area, in which a talking skull a la the original Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, introduces the show and questions the integrity of those waiting to go inside and join Jack Sparrow’s crew.
For the main show, guests enter a large room which is decorated with various props along the sides and features a large scale model of the Black Pearl which serves as a portion of the show’s projection screen. Using Disney’s high-resolution, projection mapping system such as the one used in ‘The Magic, the Memories and You’ and ‘Celebrate the Magic,’ the now floating skull invites the pirate pledge holding the iron key (chosen prior to the show) to ‘insert it into the treasure chest’ (the child really just holds it up) and the show begins. From here, the audience journeys through each of the films in an immersive show that involves physical and lighting effects in addition to the projections: from a skeleton army to Davy Jones to the Kraken and more, the lifelike projections also appear to literally fly off the screen along the back of the wall to over the Black Pearl and other objects inside the room. Eventually Captain Jack Sparrow himself appears aboard the ship and, after defeating Davy Jones, leads guests through the pirate’s oath in a way that only Jack Sparrow can.
The show is billed as interactive, but it’s really only in the vein of television shows like ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ as guests are encouraged to engage in activities such as yelling out phrases and stomping their feet.
Below is our video of the full experience as well as a brief look at some of the props which include many from the films such as Elizabeth Swann’s corset, the ‘Pirates – Ye be warned’ sign and more, along with many sight gags such as my favorite, the pirate who died by cannonball.
As you can see from the video, the best view may actually be towards the right side of the room as you enter, with the starboard side of the ship still in complete view.
We also have some photos from around and inside the attraction, but bear in mind the show building is very dark and time inside is limited, so the quality isn’t as great as it could be.
Singer and U.K. radio presenter Emma Bunton, known as “Baby Spice” as a member of the all-girl pop group The Spice Girls, poses September 25, 2012 with Goofy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
The Spice Girls recently reunited to perform at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London.
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort
The official Walt Disney World Resort website has been updated to advise that the existing ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set’ play area refurbishment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been extended through November 16, 2012. It is also listing the Studio Backlot Tour (and subsequently the AFI Showcase exhibit) as being closed from November 1, 2012 through November 16, however it is being reported elsewhere that the closure will actually begin in October, likely on the 8th.
We will update with official dates as they become available to us. The official website calendar has been updated to reflect the October 8 closure date.
Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Be the first to know when changes that potentially affect your trip occur by signing up with ReSearch! The only Disney Parks refurbishment schedule that covers attractions, dining and resorts, lets you drill down to your own specific dates and even emails you when your dates are affected — and it’s completely free!
After starting the roll out of FASTPASS+ technology at the Magic Kingdom, which not only included the installation of temporary (and subsequent permanent) RFID readers at return lines at select attractions, along with limited tests, as well as pilot programs to enter the theme parks via RFID and — most recently — pay for purchases and unlock hotel rooms using embedded RFID chips in the Key to the World (KTTW) cards at the Contemporary Resort, it appears Walt Disney World (NYSE:DIS) is steadily pushing on to establish its NextGen technology at the Resort, this time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Within the past 24 hours (give or take), Walt Disney World has filed construction commencement notices with the Orange County Comptroller’s office, for virtually all of the theme parks’ attractions and shows. Citing a very generic ‘provide labor, material and/or electrical for construction’ reason, all of the documents list Disney’s own Buena Vista Construction Company as the contractor, as was the case for all recent work performed on Haunted Mansion, to cite an example.
Attractions referenced so far in the paperwork include Star Tours, Great Movie Ride, American Idol Experience, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, Disney Junior Live on Stage, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Rock’n'Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Muppet*Vision 3D, and Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.
FASTPASS+ is an enhanced version of the FASTPASS attraction reservation system which will allow select guests to schedule opportunities to visit attractions and character meet and greets in advance of their visit to the Walt Disney World Resort. It is part of a larger program, MAGIC+, or ‘My Disney Experience’ which will allow the guest to customize and interact with the theme park environments way beyond what is possible today. Walt Disney World recently released an app titled My Disney Experience for Apple iOS devices which will provide the foundation of the new opportunities, which include allowing guests to integrate their mobile activity with their online accounts to share information and perform new tasks such as creating dining reservations from virtually anywhere. To aid with using the new app, the company has already rolled out free WiFi inside the Magic Kingdom Park and its resorts, with the rest of the theme parks expected to follow suit.
The reigning ‘American Idol’ champion Phillip Phillips poses August 2, 2012 with Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse at ‘The American Idol Experience’ attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Phillips, who is currently touring the U.S. as part of the ‘American Idols Live!’ concert series, surprised park guests by making an appearance on-stage during one of ‘The American Idol Experience’ shows.
Photo by Matt Stroshane, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort
In a photo taken July 24, 2012, five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Carrie Underwood and her husband, NHL Nashville Predators star Mike Fisher, pose with Minnie Mouse at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Underwood and Fisher took a vacation with friends to Walt Disney World Resort before she continues preparation for her upcoming concert tour of North America, ‘The Blown Away Tour,’ in support of her latest number one album, ‘Blown Away.’
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort
Five-year-old actress Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who stars on the ABC hit series ‘Modern Family’ as Lily, celebrated her show’s 14 Emmy Award nominations with a visit July 20, 2012 to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Here, she strikes a super-hero pose with Agent P, the crime-fighting platypus from the Disney Channel animated show ‘Phineas & Ferb.’
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort