How many months have 29 days? All of them if it happens to be a leap year and that aspect of 2012 seems to be the cornerstone of what Disney Parks and Resorts is billing as a big New Year’s Eve ‘surprise announcement.’ Leave it to Disney Parks to schedule and pre-premote their spontaneous surprises.
The Walt Disney World official website has recently added a couple of entries to its operation calendar for early 2012.
The first of the new closures announced is that of the ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure’ which is slated to join the previously announced Backlot Studios Tour closure beginning on January 13 and re-opening on March 11.
Also re-opening on March 11, but closing on February 26, 2012 is the ‘Magic Carpets of Aladdin’ attraction in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts kicked off construction of its luxury resort at Walt Disney World Resort today, in a groundbreaking ceremony with joint venture partners Silverstein Properties and Dune Real Estate Partners. The 444-room resort, being built in the enclave of Golden Oak at Walt Disney World Resort, will create about 2,000 construction jobs, and hundreds of resort positions when open.
“Travelers around the world know and trust Four Seasons, and Walt Disney World is the world’s premiere family vacation destination,” said Meg Crofton, president Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Operations US & France. “Together, our two companies offer a brand-new reason to visit and experience Central Florida.”
House of Innoventions at Epcot’s Innoventions East is now closed, presumably due to the recent announcement that Green Builder Media will be transitioning it into what will be known as the ‘VISION House.’ No specific date has been provided for the re-opening other than an expected time frame of May, 2012.
The Studio Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is now slated to close on February 13, 2012 and re-open on March 11.
There is also a minor quiet pool refurb scheduled at the Beach Club Villas on December 14 and 15.
The official Walt Disney World website is now reporting a temporary closure for Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom beginning January 23, 2012 and re-opening on February 10.
In addition, we have learned of additional counter service and dining location closures which include the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor in the Magic Kingdom (closed January 9 through February 17) and an extension of Tutto Italia Ristorante in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot. The restaurant is now scheduled to close a day earlier and re-open a month later.
Walt Disney Parks began taping its portion of the 28th Annual ‘Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade’ special today at the Magic Kingdom theme park. Performances were provided by Cee Lo Green, Jennifer Hudson and ‘American Idol’ winner Scotty McCreery, with some additional appearances by the Buddies (promoting their new film, Treasure Buddies and Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets.
The tapings continue tomorrow with expected performances by Bella Thorne and Zendaya Coleman of Disney Channel’s ‘Shake It Up’ and a rumored performance by Justin Bieber.
The Disneyland Resort performed its portion of the parade in early November.
Actress and activist Maria Bello, who stars as fedora-wearing Detective Jane Timoney on the NBC crime drama “Prime Suspect,” wears a mouse-eared fedora and poses with “Duffy the Disney Bear” in front of the holiday tree at Epcot theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida on November 25, 2011. Bello also is a co-founder of “WE ADVANCE,” an organization to advance the well-being of women throughout Haiti.
Photo by Gene Duncan, courtesy Walt Disney World
This week on “LIVE! with Kelly,” co-host Kelly Ripa and guest co-host Jerry Seinfeld announced that the popular nationally-syndicated show will travel to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina, Hawaii, for five shows airing February 20-24, 2012. The “LIVE” broadcasts will be set against the backdrop of Aulani’s beautiful beachfront cove on the island of O‘ahu.
During the five shows, “LIVE” will showcase the best of O’ahu, and highlight all that Disney’s latest one-of-a-kind vacation destination has to offer. In addition to broadcasting from the stunning new resort, Ripa and Seinfeld also announced an exciting contest in connection with the trip. “LIVE” will fly one lucky couple and 30 of their guests to Aulani for the wedding of a lifetime.
Preparations for the meal, which includes roasted turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, and pumpkin pie, began on Sunday, when the team started making sauces, gravy, stuffing and cranberry relish – all from scratch.
“It is an extremely rewarding experience to be able to provide a sense of family and involvement for those who would have otherwise missed out on this time of year, when sharing a meal and giving thanks as a family is so important,” said Marotta, who has also made Thanksgiving meals for the organization in previous years.
A little gardening magic will go a long way when an eight-foot-tall floral Sorcerer Mickey topiary holds court at the entrance to the 19th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival March 7 – May 20, 2012 at Walt Disney World Resort. Standing atop a 12-foot-tall floral mountain cliff and towering above the park’s front-entrance topiary bed, the commanding Sorcerer Mickey will direct a riot of color in the manicured shapes of dancing broomsticks, buckets, mushrooms, hippos, alligators and elephants straight from the classic Disney film, Fantasia.