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.

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CONFIRMED: ‘John Carter’ Early Screenings at Walt Disney World (Passholders)

'John Carter' Teaser PosterAs far as we’re concerned, impatience is a virtue. Yesterday we reported that we believed Walt Disney World would be offering free, pre-release screenings of Walt Disney Studios’ John Carter. Thanks to activity on the wdwscreeningtickets.com website, we are now able to confirm that the screenings will in fact be taking place and will be offered exclusively to passholders.

The screenings will take place at the Premier Theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the site notes valid theme park admission is required, but.. uh, it’s a passholder event) on the weekend of March 3 and 4. Showtimes will be at 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm each day. Space is limited and registration for the event will only take place online. The film, which is rated PG-13 by the MPAA, will be shown in 3D.

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Unconfirmed: Early ‘John Carter’ Screenings to be Offered at Walt Disney World

'John Carter' Teaser PosterIt appears to us that several screenings of Disney’s John Carter will be offered at the Walt Disney World Resort prior to its theatrical release on March 9, 2012. The as-of-yet-unconfirmed, unannounced news comes to us by way of a newly established website/domain, wdwscreeningtickets.com. While it’s the wdw prefix that leads us to believe the events will take place at Walt Disney World, the site also actually directs to disneynow.com which is used exclusively by Disney Parks and Resorts to the best of our knowledge.

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Disneyland Hotel Celebrates Renovation Completion

Disneyland Hotel Cast MembersEarlier today, several hundred Disneyland Resort cast members gathered in the courtyard of the reimagined Disneyland Hotel to mark the completion of the historic hotel’s multiyear renovation. Final touches to the porte-cochere and tower lobbies were added this month, following more than two years of work by Disney Imagineers and cast members to reinvigorate the hotel into a family destination that pays tribute to the early days of Disneyland. Disneyland Hotel and PoolGuests are now able to enjoy completely redesigned guest rooms, a new courtyard, restaurant, bar, pool and water play area, as well as themed suites and a dramatic new look to the exterior of the hotel. Changes have restored and highlighted the hotel’s original midcentury style with sleek, modern amenities. For the first time in 25 years, the Disneyland Hotel earned a coveted 2012 AAA Four Diamond award.

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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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Disney Parks InsidEARS (re)Releases Videos, Launches Facebook Page

Disney Parks InsidEARSAs a follow-up to our announcement yesterday regarding the unofficial launch of the Disney Parks InsidEARS website, we are pleased to note that there is additional activity on the InsidEARS front.

The first item worth noting is that the official InsidEARS Facebook page is now live. The page encourages visitors to Like it as a way of knowing when the program will be accepting new InsidEAR applicants.

In other news, Disney Parks has released two four new videos via its YouTube page featuring the InsidEARS moniker. Hosted by Walt Disney World social media community manager (and former ‘The Bachelor’ contestant) Marissa May, the videos take a look at activities beyond the parks at the Walt Disney World Resort.

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Disney Parks ‘InsidEARS’ Website Now Live as Beta Site

Disney Parks InsidEARSFor several months — over a year in fact — we have been talking about a new Disney Parks and Resorts program titled the ‘Disney Parks InsidEARS.’ Although the anticipation has been high, a recent announcement on the official Disney Parks blog did hint at a name change for the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, a possibility we did speculate on in the first article.

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have discovered that the official ‘Disney Parks InsidEARS’ website has gone live. Currently there appears to be no movement on the Facebook and Twitter accounts (assuming they are even legitimate), although the InsidEARS website does mention them as specific locations one could find an InsidEAR.

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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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