Changes At Magic Kingdom…



I want to start this out by stating that I really love Walt Disney World!  I have been a fan for over 30 years.  However, much of what is coming out these days makes me wonder where Walt’s dream ends, and the Disney Company greed begins!

It has been revealed that the Fastpass Plus system is no longer offering the parades and fireworks as a selection.  I don’t know if that means that the roped off areas will be treated like open season, or if there is something else in the works.  My guess, get ready to pay cold hard cash for this privilege!

Recently Disney announced that there will be a premium event offered called Disney After Hours. For a mere $150 each, plus applicable tax, you can enjoy The Magic Kingdom with fewer people and shorter waits.

Currently, the dates for this are:

  • April 28 and May 5, 2016 from 10pm to 1am
  • April 14 and 21, and May 8, 12 and 19, 2016 from 11pm to 2am

Many of the attractions and Meet and Greets are expected to be available during this ‘special’ event.  But, it makes one wonder if this is spelling the end to Extra Magic Hours!  Time will tell!

Idol, Innoventions, and “it’s a small world” at WDW

American Idol Experience Theater
American Idol Experience Theater

When the American Idol Adventure closed last year at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, much speculation was being batted around like a ball during baseball season.  For now, an answer has been given.  The Superstar Television Theater will be renamed the Hyperion Theater and will be the host theater for this year’s version of the “For The First Time In Forever” Frozen Sing-Along celebration.  This name change may sound a little familiar as it pays tribute to the original Disney Studio in California.

EPCOT’s Innoventions West appears to be closing down.  There are several exhibits have already closed and the remainder are expected to close down by the end of May 2015.  Gone is the Test The Limits Lab, soon to be joined by IBM Think.  Surviving the first cut are The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, Where’s The Fire, the Videogame Playground, and the Disney VISA Character Meet and Greet area.  It is not clear if these existing areas will be closed permanently, or moved to other areas of EPCOT.  This has not been officially announced by Disney, so we will have to see what happens.

Finally, a couple of quick refurbishments were announced for the Magic Kingdom.  “it’s a small world” and Space Mountain will be shutting down for a couple of days.  Small World will be closed April 14 – 17 and Space Mountain will be closed April 20- 23.  There was no word on what the brief updates will include.

Thanks for reading, and have a Blessed and Magical day, friends!

Trip Report: Day 5, Part 2…an evening at The Magic Kingdom

After completing my Backstage Magic Tour (see, I jumped on the Monorail from EPCOT to the TTC and then from TTC to The Magic Kingdom to join the rest of my family for one last go around. I love the personality of this park as day turns into night. Add to that the beautiful Christmas decorations and there is a WOW factor at work here!

Christmas at The Magic Kingdom brings very beautiful floral arrangements.
Christmas at The Magic Kingdom brings very beautiful floral arrangements.

I headed straight to Storybook Circus to take a look at this area. I found the artwork and detail to be fascinating! Dumbo looks spectacular and so does the train station! The entire area looks like it would be a complete blast, especially with families that have smaller Disney fans. One report, though, tells me that Barnstormer is not as tame as it appears.

From here, I moved over to the Fantasyland Expansion area to take a deeper look at some of the detail here, also. The Beast Castle really is a marvel! Gaston’s tavern is fun to look around, and the entire land is done in a fashion that Walt would be proud to call a part of his park. I would say the Imagineers really pulled this one off! Of course, the last piece isn’t open, yet. We shall see how the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Coaster affects things when it opens in the spring.

I met up with the rest of my family and we headed off for another ride on Haunted Mansion. The line was long for this ride this evening with a posted wait of 30 minutes. And, I think it was a good 25 before we entered the stretch room. The ride was stopped for about 3 or 4 minutes, but once it got moving it was, indeed, a nice way to spend a few minutes. I love this ride!

We were a bit late for our reservation at The Crystal Palace, but the Cast Member didn’t even blink. We were seated fairly quickly and then the Poohrade of Characters began. Yes, I agree that the cost of this meal is a bit high, but the interaction with characters is top-notch. My son found an extreme admirer when Eeyore came around. We kind of made a big thing about our son being an Eeyore at home, and maybe that was just the connection needed to forge this short-lived bond. The food was pretty good at the buffet and the service we good, as well. Not the best of our trip, but that will come along in a future report.

I finished the night with a ride on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Can I say, it seemed like that thing was bookin around the open track with slow downs only while passing through attractions. Not the relaxing ride I have enjoyed previously. I’m sure they adjusted for the larger crowds to move people along.

We watched Wishes! from the Tomorrowland area by Space Mountain. You can’t see everything, but the crowd in this area we manageable, making what we could see more enjoyable. But, now it was time to find a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade, so we headed up to Liberty Square. We found good seat near the Liberty Tree Tavern for viewing. It wasn’t as crowded as Main Street would be, which made viewing more enjoyable!

Lights make more magic at Cinderella's Castle
Lights make more magic at Cinderella’s Castle

And now, it was time for me to take in a last, deep breath of my sentimental favorite Disney park. So, I headed for the hub near Cinderella’s Castle, sat down, and just looked, listened, and smelled the atmosphere of this place that puts the biggest smile on my face. And, as usual, a few tears, too!

It is my biggest hope, and most intense dream, to someday be a part of the magic that takes place here at the Walt Disney World Resort. I don’t know if it will ever happen, but I can continue to dream, can’t I?

Blessings and magic be yours, today, my friends!!