Hundreds of fans gathered early this morning at the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World to celebrate the induction of Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave into the Disney Princess Royal Court. An honor bestowed to just ten before her, Merida arrived at Cinderella Castle in style atop her faithful steed Angus before receiving the crown from none other than her own mother, Queen Elinor, who made an exceptionally rare appearance. The pair were joined by the other members of the Disney Princess Royal Court along with emcee U.S. Gymnastics 2-time Olympic champion, Gabby Douglas, who was joined on stage by her own mother, Natalie Hawkins.
Other VIPs spotted included ‘Jessie’ star Debby Ryan, who was filming a segment for Disney Channel’s Disney365 news segments. Child entertainers/reporters Sophia Grace and Rosie, of the Ellen Degeneres show, were also at the event, warming up the crowd with a special rap performance created especially for the event.
Below you will find some of our photos from the event as well as some video (with more coming). Be sure to click on any of the thumbnails to see a larger version.
Here’s a quick video we uploaded on site of the royal procession featuring Merida and Angus. Sorry that it was flipped.
After officially inducting Tiana into the royal Disney Princess family in New York City in 2010 and Rapunzel at London’s Kensington Palace in 2011, Disney Consumer Products is preparing to shine the spotlight on its first official Pixar princess, Merida, from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. This time around, the ceremony will be held at 9:30 am on May 11, 2013 at Cinderella Castle located in the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. The occasion will mark the first time that the ceremony itself is open to anyone visiting the theme park that day.
At the event, Merida will become the 11th princess to receive the Disney Princess title and join the popular franchise, standing alongside Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana and Rapunzel, all of whom are anticipated to be in attendance.
There is no word yet on who else may be in attendance of the event, but Disney star Debby Ryan has announced via her Facebook page that she plans on witnessing the ceremony of Disney’s ‘new ginger princess.’
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:
Yesterday, the official Disney Parks blog offered some new details on the Disneyland location of Starbucks, as the Market House is slated to close next month to begin the conversion for the parks’ Starbucks location, opening this fall — an exact closure date has not yet been announced. This will finalize plans for the Disneyland Resort where the first location has already been thriving at Disney California Adventure at the Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Café.
On the east coast, we’ve been keeping tabs on the development as plans for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot have already been announced and — in the case of the former — are well underway.
The most recent date we have for a scheduled opening for Starbucks at the Magic Kingdom is June 19, 2013.
Today we also received additional information for the Epcot location which will be at the current Fountainview Ice Cream Shop. While preliminary reports had the location closing this month for the conversion with a re-opening for summer, we have learned that the current plans have the location closing on April 8, 2013 with a re-opening slated for fall. A new ice cream shop in France, where the bakery previously was, will open in June.
Locations for Disney’s Hollywood studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom have yet to be confirmed.
Walt Disney World’s Yellow Shoes Creative Group has created a brand new viral website at FreeTheDisneyGoat.com which is designed to make Florida residents aware of new attractions and changes at the Walt Disney World Resort along with the special 3-Day Discover Disney ticket offer.
The site uses Billy the goat from the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attraction as its
spokesman spokesgoat. Billy is aware of all the new and exciting things going on around the resort as well as some favorite classics, but he’s stuck atop Big Thunder and he’s counting the seconds he can break free and explore what the rest of Magic Kingdom and the Resort have to offer — he’s even taking suggestions.
In order to set Billy free, however, he needs not just the suggestions but word of mouth. Every tweet, Facebook mention or Pinterest post brings him one step closer to checking out the new Rapunzel restrooms in Fantasyland. He’s even joined Twitter under the @DisneyGoat account and has shown a preference for the hashtag #FreeTheGoat
Other website domains registered (but all go to the same place) include UnboltTheGoat.com, UnboltDisneyGoat.com, DisneyGoat.com, FreeTheGoat.com and FreeDisneyGoat.com.
We received a few new updates from Walt Disney World over the past week or so regarding upcoming refurbishments and have new additions as well as several date revisions. While we recommend verifying all of the changes by visiting our ReSearch page, here are some of the highlights:
- Main Street Bakery — which is being converted over to the Magic Kingdom’s Starbucks location — is now slated to open on June 19, 2013. This is actually the second delay we have seen before (it was initially slated to open on May 18, then was pushed back to May 28).
- Mad Tea Party is currently expected to close on April 10 and is expected to re-open on May 22, 2013.
- Carousel of Progress is currently expected to close on May 13 and is expected to re-open on May 16, 2013.
- Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel is currently expected to close on May 28 and is expected to re-open on June 11, 2013.
Disney Parks has updated its ‘Limited Time Magic’ schedule to include events that begin today, February 1 and run through February 11, 2013.
At the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is the ‘Countdown to Super Sunday,’ running from February 1 through February 9. There will be a daily pre-parade including an MVP appearance on February 4. Just before the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade, Disney football ‘star’ Goofy will hit the streets of the park for a lively pigskin celebration.
Also from February 1 to February 9, 2013, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland will be dishing up Super Sunday menu items, including ‘Soup-er Bowls’ of lobster bisque and tomato basil bisque.
Meanwhile at Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure, it’s all about the Lunar New Year, from February 8 through February 11. Guests are invited to celebrate the Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures for the most magical Lunar New Year Party under the moon. Festivities include Mulan’s Chinese New Year Procession, cultural performances and fun-filled activities — as well as Disney Character greetings with Mulan, Mushu, Mickey and Minnie dressed in traditional Chinese outfits. A limited-edition pin will be available while supplies last.
Disney Parks has updated its official Limited Time Magic schedule to include ‘Long Lost Friends Week’ at the Walt Disney World Resorts.
According to the description, ‘for one week—from January 21 to January 27, 2013—some long-lost Disney friends are returning to Magic Kingdom park to meet you and your family! Be sure to have your camera ready, as this is a rare chance to brush shoulders with classic Disney Characters like Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar, Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, The Three Little Pigs and more!’
An addition was also made to the Disneyland Resort section of the page, in which promotes a discounted 3 day park hopper bonus ticket through February 27.
As promised, Disney Parks made its first official schedule announcement for the upcoming ‘Limited Time Magic’ campaign in 2013 via the special LIMITEDTIMEMAGIC.COM website.
Walt Disney World will feature a nightly New Year’s Eve celebration dance party in Tomorrowland beginning December 30 and running through January 5 at the Magic Kingdom theme park. The parties will feature interaction with Disney characters as well as an hourly countdown for those little (and not-so-little) ones who struggle to make it to midnight.
Over at Disneyland Resort, two events have been announced: the Three Kings Celebration and the Salute to Golden Horseshoe Revue. From January 4 through January 6 at the Disneyland theme park, guests are invited to celebrate the end of the holiday season at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree with music, activities and cuisine that pays tribute to Southern California’s Mexican Culture.
Finally, from Thursday through Monday, January 10 through February 4, Miss Lilly and her Saloon Girls make a triumphant return to Frontierland as Disneyland will proudly present its salute to the classic theme park entertainment which opened with the park in 1955 and ran through 1986.
As we reported earlier today, we also anticipate Disney Parks announcing another campaign of sorts, titled ‘Disney Time,’ during the ABC broadcast of ‘Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.’
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).