The official Walt Disney World Resort website has been updated to advise that the existing ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set’ play area refurbishment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios has been extended through November 16, 2012. It is also listing the Studio Backlot Tour (and subsequently the AFI Showcase exhibit) as being closed from November 1, 2012 through November 16, however it is being reported elsewhere that the closure will actually begin in October, likely on the 8th.
Ever since its refurbishment was announced back in May, speculations have run rampant about changes being made to ‘Country Bear Jamboree,’ located in Frontierland of the Magic Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World. Initial rumors had the show being cut in length and have since grown to include cutting out peripheral characters out completely to the return of the holiday overlay and more. The only certain element regarding the rumors was that for every rumor proposed, there was at least another that contradicted it and proposed something else.
Earlier today, the official Disney Parks blog held a webchat with Walt Disney Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick, who is one of the lead Imagineers in transitioning Epcot’s Test Track to the Test Track 2.0 phase.
Essentially, the story of the attraction is switching from testing to design, according to Jeselnick. The interior queue is being completely changed to align itself with the new focus. ‘We’ll have actual items, sketches, cars, models from GM that have never been seen before by anyone outside the Chevrolet family,’ she added.
The official Disney Parks blog today shared this first image of Tinker Bell and Periwinkle /aka/ Peri /aka/ Tink’s sister as they will appear at both Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland in mid-September (September 17 in Orlando according to this site, to be precise).
Peri will be joining Tink in Pixie Hollow in honor of their upcoming 3D Blu-ray release, Secret of the Wings, available to own on October 23, 2012. 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.
Via 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.
Walt Disney World has announced some changes to its lineup of narrators for its annual holiday event, the Candlelight Processional, held at the America Gardens Theatre, beginng November 23 of this year.
As we previously noted on Twitter, Isabella Rossellini will no longer be performing from November 23 – 25. We know her spot to be filled by actress Geena Davis. In addition, Andy Garcia has signed on for December 2 – 4, James Denton for December 8 & 9, Jodi Benson extended to December 10 – 13 and music singer Amy Grant from December 26 – 28. The full narration schedule as it currently stands is as follows:
Starting this fall, Walt Disney World Resort guests will become the stars of ‘Phineas and Ferb & YOU: A Brand New Reality.’ The virtual experience will allow guests to play with animated characters from Disney’s Emmy Award-winning animated series ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ The fun happens at Downtown Disney West Side, next to Bongos Cuban Café from September 1 through December 1, 2012 from 2 pm – 9:30 pm daily.
After starting the roll out of FASTPASS+ technology at the Magic Kingdom, which not only included the installation of temporary (and subsequent permanent) RFID readers at return lines at select attractions, along with limited tests, as well as pilot programs to enter the theme parks via RFID and — most recently — pay for purchases and unlock hotel rooms using embedded RFID chips in the Key to the World (KTTW) cards at the Contemporary Resort, it appears Walt Disney World (NYSE:DIS) is steadily pushing on to establish its NextGen technology at the Resort, this time at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
It appears that after decades of providing spa services to guests of the Walt Disney World Resort, the ‘Vacation Kingdom’ may be preparing to part ways with Niki Bryan Spas and go with a partner it may find more agreeable — itself. Thanks to a tipster, we’ve learned that Walt Disney World has begun listing senior-level positions on its job site for titles such as ‘Spa Director,’ ‘Senior Spa Manager,’ and ‘Spa Guest Service Manager,’ suggesting the company is looking to manage the resort spas from the inside, as they are currently doing with Laniwai at Disney’s Aulani in Hawaii.
After topping the iTunes app charts for months, what is Swampy the Gator from the Disney Mobile franchise, ‘Where’s My Water?’ going to do next? He’s going to Walt Disney World, of course! Maybe sneaking in a bath or two first though.
Disney Parks has quietly launched SWAMPYATDISNEY.COM, a mobile mini-site that shares the above image along with the following teaser: