WDW Refurb Update: Liberty Belle Riverboat Closure in February

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The Liberty Belle riverboat in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square is currently scheduled to be closed for refurbishment from February 1 through February 5. This appears to be an annual refurbishment as it was closed for a like-period of time in late February in 2009.

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!

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WDW Refurb Update: HISTK Playground to Remain Open; Bibbidi Bobbidi and Sunshine Tree Terrace

A few changes to the Walt Disney World refurbishment schedule:

First, the official list from Disney that once listed the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure removed it a few days ago and there are no signs of it coming back, so I removed it from the list here.

Second, we have two additional, unverified additions: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Downtown Disney Marketplace to be closed from January 18 through March 6 and the Sunshine Tree Terrace quick service location in the Magic Kingdom, from January 17 through February 12.

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Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Designer’s Life for Cast Member Turned Project Runway Contestant

When Project Runway makes its seventh season debut on Lifetime on January 14, one of its contestants may seem familiar to millions of people worldwide. Designer hopeful / actor Jesse LeNoir, 25, who makes Orlando his home, counts being a performer in the Captain Jack Sparrow Pirate Tutorial at the Magic Kingdom among his previous jobs.

Below is Jesse’s home visit video giving some insight into his home life. For more information and videos from Jesse, visit his Project Runway bio page.

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WDW Refurb Update: Cantina de San Angel Refurb Begins Major Refurbishment and More

Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, has just closed and begun its lengthy refurbishment. Expected to be replaced with a new, more convenient dining opportunity, the restaurant is slated to re-open on September 24, just a week shy of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival.

During the refurbishment, Taqueria Del Lago, the Mexican booth from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival will be operating for guests’ convenience.

We are also being advised that Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats, located near the World Famous Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, will be unavailable from January 8 through January 25.

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Say Au Revoir to Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee… For Now

Even before the show set sail back in November, Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee was causing waves of excitement at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts. With the show advertised to end on January 3, many were disappointed but then turned optimistic when the official site began listing the show as continuing beyond the expected final date.

While we are sad to report that the show is in fact ending today (and is explicitly listed as being performed only today on the Magic Kingdom’s Times Guide for this week), we thought we’d offer some hope of our own for those who missed the opportunity to see the moving spectacle.

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Photo: Boston Celtics Fill the Magic Kingdom with Hoop Dreams

Boston Celtics players (L-R): J.R. Giddens, Ray Allen, Eddie House and Tony Allen huddle Dec. 24, 2009 with Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  The NBA players visited the theme park on the eve of their Christmas Day game against the Orlando Magic.  The Celtics and Magic tip-off in a nationally televised game Dec. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET at Amway Arena in Orlando, Fla. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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Muppets to Lead Disney Parks Afternoon Parades in 2010

Beginning January 8, 2010, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Sweetums will join the Disney’s Honorary VoluntEARS Cavalcade which will act as the pre-parade for the afternoon parades at both the Magic Kingdom and at Disneyland.

The Muppets and parade dancers, wearing outfits that celebrate the work of volunteers, will join special floats and vehicles celebrating volunteerism and presenting Honorary VoluntEARS serving as Grand Marshals of the parades.

On February 11, Walt Disney World’s Epcot will also be hosting the Disney Parks’ Celebration of Volunteerism event which will be a Disney star-studded event, celebrating family volunteering.

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Photo: Justin Bieber at the Magic Kingdom with Aladdin’s Genie

Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber poses Dec. 19, 2009 with the “Genie” from Disney’s animated film “Aladdin” at the Magic Kingdom. Bieber was in central Florida to perform at a Radio Disney concert at the Celebration Town Center in nearby Celebration, Fla. Magic Kingdom is one of four theme parks at Walt Disney World Resort. (Preston Mack, photographer)

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Disney Parks Offers Sneak Peek at Christmas Day Parade on YouTube

It’s a day that ends in -y so that means two things: new pins and a new tilt-shift video. This time, Walt Disney World managed to capture its portion of the days-long taping of the 2009 Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade and condense it into what amounts to a commercial break. Enjoy!

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Photo: Magician Penn Jillette Pulls a Rabbit out of a Crowd at Magic Kingdom

ILLUSIONIST PENN JILLETTE AT WALT DISNEY WORLD (Garth Vaughan/Disney)Penn Jillette, the vocal half of the famed illusionist/comedy duo “Penn and Teller,” tries to figure out how to pull a rabbit out of a hat as he poses Dec. 13, 2009 with Thumper, the lovable rabbit from Disney’s classic film, “Bambi.” Appropriately, Penn and Thumper met in the Magic Kingdom, as the magician vacationed with his family. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)

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