Character Changes Coming to Disney World for April/May 2010: Ariel’s Grotto Closes, Lotso Arrives

Prince Eric with Ariel during a Pirate and Princess Party at the Magic Kingdom in 2007Although most character meet & greets at the Walt Disney World Resort are fairly standard from day to day, there are a couple of times per year when there are significant changes. These changes usually occur in April/May and September/October. In 2010, these changes are further complicated by the closure of Toontown and the Fantasyland expansion in the Magic Kingdom. Since we’re already getting into April, it’s time to take a look at some of the expected upcoming changes.

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Photo: Let Her Fly — Hootie’s Darius Rucker with Family at Magic Kingdom

Darius Rucker with family at the Magic Kingdom. (Gene Duncan/Disney)Singer/songwriter Darius Rucker (front, left) takes flight April 6, 2010 on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. with daughter Dani, 9, (front, center), son Jack, 5, (front, right), daughter Cary, 14, (back, right) and family friend Rachel Herman, 15, (back, left). Rucker, former lead singer of the Grammy Award-winning band Hootie & The Blowfish, won “New Artist of the Year” at the 2009 Country Music Association Awards. Rucker is vacationing with his family at the Walt Disney World Resort. (Gene Duncan, photographer)

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WDW Refurb Update: HISTK Playground to Remain Open; Bibbidi Bobbidi and Sunshine Tree Terrace

A few changes to the Walt Disney World refurbishment schedule:

First, the official list from Disney that once listed the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure removed it a few days ago and there are no signs of it coming back, so I removed it from the list here.

Second, we have two additional, unverified additions: Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in the Downtown Disney Marketplace to be closed from January 18 through March 6 and the Sunshine Tree Terrace quick service location in the Magic Kingdom, from January 17 through February 12.

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WDW Refurb Update: Cantina de San Angel Refurb Begins Major Refurbishment and More

Cantina de San Angel, the quick service location in Epcot’s Mexico pavilion, has just closed and begun its lengthy refurbishment. Expected to be replaced with a new, more convenient dining opportunity, the restaurant is slated to re-open on September 24, just a week shy of the 2010 Food and Wine Festival.

During the refurbishment, Taqueria Del Lago, the Mexican booth from the 2009 Food and Wine Festival will be operating for guests’ convenience.

We are also being advised that Shrunken Ned’s Junior Jungle Boats, located near the World Famous Jungle Cruise in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, will be unavailable from January 8 through January 25.

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When American Idol David Cook Flies Around Magic Kingdom, Camels Don’t Give A Spit

David Cook at the Magic KingdomSinger, musician and “American Idol” season seven champion David Cook takes a ride Aug. 17, 2009 aboard the Magic Carpets of Aladdin attraction at the Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Joining Cook on the family vacation to Walt Disney World were his nieces and nephews: Pictured are Gracie (right), age 6 and Marshall (held by Cook), 18 months. (Garth Vaughan, photographer)

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An Exclusive Look Into the Pirates League Experience (Tour and Photo Gallery)

When a pirate approaches you and invites you to tour their newest recruiting station, you don’t say no. Well, you could say no, but it will be the second-to-last thing you’ll ever say (the last being ‘ouch’) — DVC they are not.

Located deep in the heart of the unforgiving jungles of Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, the Pirates League offers a unique opportunity for the young and not-so-young alike to join the crew of the mighty Captain Jack Sparrow: explore exotic lands, meet new people and pillage and plunder them.

It seems that after having their fun in town, the crew set their sights (and canons) on the local office of the East India Trading Company. In fact, your first indication that you’re about to abandon all hope is a chunk of  the fateful pirate ship outside, complete with the victorious canon. Let it be known that pirates are not without a sense of humor, however, as you can see that they put their own spin on the EIT Co. logo.

Hopeful recruits (shame on you all) will first check in at the Quartermaster’s Desk found right outside of the League and will be provided with a muster form for them to complete, specifying the desired options applicable for their package of choice. Sample photos of the options are also at the ready so that there be no surprises.

(more…)

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First Look: Pirates League Makeovers at the Magic Kingdom

Disney has just released these photos showing some of the makeovers possible at the new Pirate League in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland, officially opening June 29 (now in soft opening mode). Photos © Kent Phillips/Disney.

The official press release follows: (more…)

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Pirates League Experience at Magic Kingdom to Open June 29 (Package Details)

The Boy-tique known as the Pirates League is set to open June 29 in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. The Orlando Sentinel has reported the following details:

Participants will receive pirate names before receiving a variety of accessories, including beards, eye patches, scarves, scars, earrings and gold teeth. These will be applied by a “veteran pirate” with sea-sailing tales.

After taking a sacred oath and an official portrait, guests will be part of Jack Sparrow’s gang.

(more…)

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New Pirates League Experience Coming to Magic Kingdom in June

Concept art for the new Pirate League experience in Magic Kingdom's Adventureland © Disney

Concept art for the new Pirate League experience in Magic Kingdom's Adventureland © Disney

DisneyShawn is reporting that construction under way for a new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique-type experience will soon be available for boys.

The Pirates League will be located in Adventureland (in the House of Treasure location) and initiates will be given pirate identities, take on their new pirate persona and gain access to a secret treasure rom.

More details to follow.

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