New Fantasyland Concept Art Vividly Features Princesses in Enchanted Forest

New Fantasyland Concept ArtVia an email to Disney Travel Agents regarding the newly made announcements regarding the Enchanted Forest portion of the New Fantasyland Expansion at the Walt Disney World Resort on December 6, 2012 (soft opening November 19), a few pieces of concept art were released. They appear to be new, but it is quite possible they’ve been released previously and we just missed them, but even if they are old news they are beautiful enough to warrant sharing again.

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New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom to Open December 6; Previews Begin November 19

Magic Kingdom guests blink back in amazement at the scene: not one, but two colorful Dumbos spinning through the sky above Storybook Circus.

To the delight of fans of the beloved Dumbo, the Flying Elephant attraction, a second Dumbo flies alongside. The playful pachyderm is joined in Storybook Circus by the Barnstormer Coaster re-themed to the Great Goofini, the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station water play area and the Fantasyland Train Station — all part of the multiyear, largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.

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WDW Refurb Update: Pirates of the Caribbean Closed for One Day in October

Apparently the long term effects of One More Disney Day have caught up to the Magic Kingdom classic attraction as the official Walt Disney World Resort website has begun listing Pirates of the Caribbean in Adventureland as experiencing a one day closure on October 9, 2012.

With the timing of the closure, it’s possible that it may be related to the park’s NextGen technology. Not necessarily directly in terms of installing FASTPASS+ or other interactive capabilities, but more in lines with demonstrating and training.

If we learn of an extension of dates, we will update as necessary.

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Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle Under Seige in Quora ‘How To’ Scenario

Just how well does the moat that surrounds Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom protect the castle and (New) Fantasyland from ne’er do wells? Just how to defeat the most magical place on Earth’s defenses and make scores of Disney cast members and characters alike succumb to your almighty being is at the heart of this question recently proposed on Quora.com in the Military Strategy category.

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Periwinkle to Join Pixie Hollow at Disney Parks in October

Tinker Bell and Periwinkle in 'Secret of the Wings' © Disney. All Rights Reserved.

In honor of Secret of the Wings, which debuts on 3D Blu-ray on October 23, Disney Parks has officially confirmed it will be introducing Tinker Bell’s new wintery friend, Periwinkle, as a meet & greet character at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme parks. No specific date has been given other than her appearances will begin in October.

For Tinker Bell and the other warm season fairies, the Winter Woods remains a mysterious and forbidden place. Secret of the Wings takes audiences on an amazing journey of discovery with Tink, into this forbidden world where she discovers a magical secret that changes her life forever.

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WDW Refurb Update: Country Bear Jamboree in Hibernation for Fall

The official Walt Disney World Resort website has been updated to advise that Country Bear Jamboree located at the Magic Kingdom will be closed for refurbishment beginning September 1, 2012 and lasting through October 17. It should be noted that when the notice was first posted, it began on October 1, so there is a small chance that the start date may actually precede September.

Additionally, a brief closure for American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was recently announced for June 14 and 15.

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Disney World to Test FASTPASS+ NextGen Technology at Magic Kingdom in May

RFID-based FASTPASS+ reader at Peter Pan's FlightThe Magic Kingdom theme park will begin testing FASTPASS+, part of it’s NextGen technology, during the first half of May, according to reports.

In its final incarnation, FASTPASS+ –  a subset of the MAGIC+ framework and sometimes referred to as XPASS — will allow eligible guests to reserve ride times in advance, using their MAGIC BAND to access the attraction’s queue. The customizable MAGIC BAND wristband will double as what’s currently known as the Key to the World, allowing guests to use the same magnetic stip card for their resort room key as well as park tickets and more.

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First Look: Merida Meet and Greet Character at Disney Parks (Photos)

Princess Merida Disney Parks Meet and Greet Character

Several photos have begun to surface on the interwebs within the past few hours featuring what appears to be the official meet & greet character for Princess Merida from Disney/Pixar’s Brave. While we have found multiple sources of photos for Merida, none of them explain where the photos originated, but it’s likely they came out of the CinemaCon tradeshow currently taking place in Las Vegas, where movie theater exhibitors were treated to the first 30 minutes of Brave last night in addition to a teaser for the Monsters Inc. prequel, Monsters University, and the other news regarding The Good Dinosaur and Lee Unkrich’s project set around the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

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WDW Refurb Update: Monorail Service to be Disrupted Daily in March

Walt Disney World Cast Member Dave provided confirmation via Twitter this evening that beginning March 2, 2012 and through March 17, 2012, all Magic Kingdom monorail service will be suspended daily from 11:30 am through 6 pm. This is being done primarily so that construction work related to the Grand Floridian DVC expansion can be completed, although ‘planned maintenance’ is also mentioned in the notice.

In response to the reduction of service, more buses and water transportation will be put on line to accommodate guests traveling between the Magic Kingdom and the TTC and area resorts. Monorail service between the TTC and Epcot will not be affected by this change.

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Photo: Kelly Clarkson, Juanes at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Kelly Clarkson with Belle and Beast (Todd Anderson/Disney)Singer and former ‘American Idol’ champion Kelly Clarkson poses with Princess Belle and Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast yesterday in the Rose Garden area of the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Photo by Todd Anderson, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

Juanes with Minnie Mouse (Preston Mack/Disney)Also visiting the Magic Kingdom was Grammy Award- and seventeen-time Latin Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Juanes who received a special welcome to the theme park from Minnie Mouse on Feb. 18, 2012.  Juanes is expected to release a new album in May 2012, and he will be featured on MTV’s Tr3s network on March 6, 2012.  During his career, the Colombian-born performer has sold more than 12 million albums. He was named Latin music’s “Artist of the Decade” by Billboard and one of TIME Magazine’s ’100 Most Influential People in the World.’

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