WDW Refurb Update: Studio Backlot Tour, HISTK Playground Extension

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.

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Speculation: Disney’s Hollywood Studios Prepping for FASTPASS+ NextGen Technology

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.

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Photo: Phillip Phillips Poses with American Idols Mickey and Minnie Mouse

'AMERICAN IDOL' PHILLIP PHILLIPS AT WALT DISNEY WORLD (Matt Stroshane, photographer)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

 

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Photo: Carrie Underwood Meets Real ‘All American Girl’ — Er, Mouse

Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher with Minnie Mouse (Gene Duncan/Disney)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

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Photo: ‘Modern Family’s’ Aubrey Anderson-Emmons Plays Detective with Agent P

Aubrey Anderson-Emmons at Disney World in Florida (Gene Duncan/Disney)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

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Radio Disney Names N.B.T. Finalists; Showcase This Weekend at Walt Disney World

The popular musical talent competition for young artists, Radio Disney’s “N.B.T.” (Next BIG Thing), hits a higher octave in its fifth season beginning in the fall. This season’s winner will perform on the hit Disney Channel series “Austin & Ally,” have a single released by Disney Music Group and be the opening act for popular Radio Disney recording artists at the “N.B.T.” finale concert this year in Los Angeles. Radio Disney and Disney Channel audiences will determine the winner when they are invited to look, listen and vote for their favorite artist.

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Disney D23 Scares Up ‘Sip’n’Scream’ Event at Walt Disney World

Disney D23 has announced that it will be adding a brand new twist to its annual ‘Sip’n’Stroll’ event normally held during the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Two levels are being offered for the event, ‘Super Scream’ (which is a two-day event, October 2 and October 3) for $320 and a single-day event on October 3, for $125 (note that admission is required for either package on October 3 as it takes place during regular park hours).

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‘Tailor Made’ Ink and Paint Cel Release on June 23 at Walt Disney World

'Tailor Made' Ink and Paint CelOn Saturday, June 23, join Disney Ink and Paint Artists: Erin Magill, Theodora M. DeLaney, David Rippberger, Lynn Rippberger and Sharon K. Vincent as they celebrate the premiere of the Tailor Made entry into the Ink and Paint Cel series. In the cel, Donald Duck directs the cast of Mickey and Minnie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as they recreate a scene from the 1938 animated short, Walt Disney’s Brave Little Tailor.

'Tailor Made' Ink and Paint Cel PinThe cel is hand-painted with edition size of 1,000 pieces. As an extra bonus, the first 750 framed pieces sold will be accompanied by a matching limited edition pin created for the release.

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Carbonite Experience to be Offered at Star Wars Weekends 2012

Custom Carbonites by Paul PapeWhat do you get the Star Wars fan that has everything? Studios Central is reporting that Star Wars Weekends (weekends May 18 through June 10, 2012 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios) will be offering a ‘Carbon Freeze Me’ opportunity in which guests can be digitally scanned to produce a likeness of themselves frozen in carbonite.

The site reports the experience will be offered inside ‘Sounds Dangerous’ and will cost $99.95. The final product will be delivered via mail within 3 – 4 weeks.

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‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ Experience to Open at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Fall

The summer 2012 edition of the Mickey Monitor, Walt Disney World’s newsletter for Annual Passholders has announced that ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow’ will be opening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in summer of this year. It will be placed in Sound Stage 4 which has historically been known for sharing behind-the-scenes props and footage from films such as Haunted Mansion and films from The Chronicles of Narnia series, but ‘The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow,’ while based on The Pirates of the Caribbean films, is not reported to continue that genre.

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