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.
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.
Pictured here left-to-right are “Once Upon a Time” star Ginnifer Goodwin, Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs, singer Jordin Sparks and Mickey Mouse pose December 6, 2012 at the grand opening of New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World Resort’s Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
New Fantasyland is a new area in the Magic Kingdom and is the largest expansion in the 41-year history of the theme park.
Photo by Kent Phillips, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort
We first reported that Walt Disney World was seeking circus acts for its Storybook Circus portion of the New Fantasyland Expansion a few months ago. At the time, it was noted that solo clown acts were not being sought out, which many misconstrued as meaning clowns were not going to be an element in the Magic Kingdom’s expansion, which officially opens this Thursday, December 6.
Disney Parks and ABC Television have provided us with several images from taping that took place this past weekend and last month at both Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and the Disneyland Resort for its 29th annual Christmas Day Parade. Full details on the parade including performances, floats and air times can be found in our previous report from earlier today.
Photos in our gallery below feature appearances and performances by hosts Mario Lopez, Nick Cannon and Maria Menounos, Lady Antebellum, TobyMac, Ross Lynch, Backstreet Boys and the cast of Broadway’s ‘Newsies,’ plus many Disney character favorites including Jake from ‘Jake and the Never Land Pirates’ and Sofia the First.
With just under a week before the official grand opening of the New Fantasyland expansion the Magic Kingdom, the Walt Disney World Resort has shared some interesting facts and statistics about the expansion as well as Fantasyland at Disneyland theme parks around the globe.
- Doubles the size of Fantasyland. Originally 10 acres; today’s Fantasyland with expansion: 21 acres.
- Largest expansion in the 41-year history of the Magic Kingdom.
- Between Walt Disney Imagineers and their partners, it took more than 140 disciplines to bring New Fantasyland to life.
- Future additions to New Fantasyland include Princess Fairytale Hall (2013) and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (2014).
A new post on the official Disney Parks blog teases what appears to be the Flying Dragon puppet/vehicle that was spotted during testing earlier this year at Minter Field Airport in Shafter, California. Using blurry video footage, the video appears to spotlight the vehicle and in fact the post does tease that it involves a dragon of some sort, noting some of which even breathe fire, which the Disney flying vehicle reportedly does.
Earlier today, the official Disney Parks blog held an internet chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty who is overseeing the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Featured in the chat was the reveal of the ‘forbidden’ West Wing inside the Beast’s castle which is represented in the New Fantasyland Fantasy Forest area as the ‘Be Our Guest’ restaurant.
The chat opened up with this video featuring Imagineers Tim Warzecha, Ted Robledo and Chris Kelly as they toured the restaurant, including the West Wing section, and gave an overview into the design and thought process behind the new dining location.
We received a new update from Walt Disney World 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:
- Mad Tea Party at Magic Kingdom is scheduled to close on January 7, 2013 and re-open on February 19.
- Splash Mountain dates revised to close on January 2 and re-open on March 20, 2013.
- The Boneyard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will have another 2-day closure, closing October 24, 2012 and re-opening on October 26.
It should come as no surprise, but now the official Walt Disney World Resort website has been updated to advise that Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland will be closing for its nearly-annual slow season refurbishment beginning on
February 3, 2013 January 4, 2013 and re-opening on March 21.
In other news, while the official site still shows a tentative re-opening date for Test Track at Epcot, the Disney Parks blog has reported that it will re-open on December 6, 2012, the same day that New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom will have its grand opening.