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

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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.

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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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LEAKED: “it’s a small world” NextGen Interactive Experience Concept Art

We have obtained what is essentially concept art for the next generation (NextGen) interactive queue for “it’s a small world” at the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Taking advantage of the NextGen infrastructure in which guests will be able to personalize their experiences at Walt Disney World, the “it’s a small world” interactivity begins at home. Using their computer or smart phone, guests will design their own “it’s a small world doll.” When they visit the attraction at the Magic Kingdom, monitors placed throughout the attraction will virtually ride along with the guest (or the monitors may be installed in the vehicles, this is an unknown at this time). Guests will also be able to send e-cards spotlighting their virtual trip aboard the happiest cruise to have ever sailed the seven seas.

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WDW Refurb Update: Liberty Belle Extended Through May

With what was initially slated to be a week-or-so closure for the Liberty Square riverboat at the Magic Kingdom is now turning into a multi-month closure. The official Walt Disney World website is now reporting that the Liberty Belle attraction will now re-open on May 21, 2012. The announcement comes a day after the attraction had closed for its refurbishment.

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! The only Disney Parks refurbishment schedule that covers attractions, dining and resorts, lets you drill down to your own specific dates and even emails you when your dates are affected — and it’s completely free!

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Photo: President Obama Delivers Speech at Walt Disney World

President Barack Obama at Walt Disney WorldSpeaking to a crowd at in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort on January 19, 2012, President Barack Obama unveiled plans to increase international visitation and make the United States the world’s top travel destination.

Photo courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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Photo: Uma Thurman at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World

Uma Thurman, Donald Duck (Preston Mack/Disney)Donald, Uma. Uma, Donald.

Actress/model Uma Thurman poses here with Donald Duck this past weekend in a 1900s-inspired fire engine while visiting the Magic Kingdom park at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Thurman, star of films including Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill, will be seen in the upcoming film Bel Ami, which also stars Twilight actor Robert Pattinson.

Photo by Preston Mack, courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

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Report: Obama to Visit Walt Disney World Thursday (Updated)

Recently the White House confirmed that President Barack Obama would be visiting Orlando this upcoming Thursday, January 19, 2012, to speak on the economy. All was quiet on the rumor fronts until today when a flurry of entertainment and operational changes found their way to the internet this evening, leading many to assume it meant the President would be visiting Mickey Mouse when in town.

Among the changes are evening extra magic hours being offered at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but not at the Magic Kingdom. In addition, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will feature a special fireworks display at 7 pm titled ‘Rock the Night!’ All of this, it is suggested, is to drive guest traffic away from ‘the event.’

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WDW Refurbs: Dumbo Re-Opening Delayed Until End of March (Updated)

Some unfortunate news comes way of the official Walt Disney World Resort website today as it notes that the re-opening of Dumbo has been postponed from its original re-opening date of February 18 until March 12 March 31, 2012. The news is unexpected as construction has wasted no time in dismantling the attraction from its current location behind Cinderella Castle to its new location at the Storybook Circus area of the New Fantasyland Expansion, in the area formerly occupied by Mickey’s Toontown Fair.

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‘One More Disney Day’ Limited Edition Mouse Ears Available to Walt Disney World Passholders

Disney Parks 'One More Disney Day'Disney Parks has one more trick up its sleeve for Walt Disney World passholders planning on attending the ‘One More Disney Day’ leap day event in which both the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Parks will remain open for 24 hours.

The first 1,000 passholders who plan on visiting the Magic Kingdom can sign up online for the offer.  In order to qualify and receive the ears, the passholder must then check-in for the event no later than 5:30 am on February 29 (check-in begins at 5 am, the park opens at 6 am). Limit of one pair of ears per guest.

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First Look: New Fantasyland’s Dumbo Marks Disney Parks Milestone (Video)

Dumbo in New Fantasyland Expansion at Magic Kingdom © MouseStepsIt appears that Walt Disney Imagineering has begun the test and adjust phase for the brand new Dumbo attraction being installed in the Storybook Circus area of the New Fantasyland Expansion at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Photos and video captured by MouseSteps demonstrate some of the vehicles in action yesterday.

What makes this particular installation of the classic attraction is that this will be the first time in any Disney theme park that Dumbo will fly in a clockwise direction (i.e., if you were to look at the attraction from an aerial vantage point), or more simply put, Dumbo faces left. In every other installation, Dumbo flies in the opposite (counter-clockwise) direction. The attraction topper is also more ornate than previous incarnations, replacing Timothy Mouse with a bevy of storks mid-job.

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