Dateline Disney World kicks off 2016 at Epcot! There are some big changes coming to Walt Disney World’s 2nd park. Let’s go!

Welcome to Epcot!
Welcome to Epcot!
There has been an addition to the Epcot Character Spot.
There has been an addition to the Epcot Character Spot.
You can now meet Baymax there.
You can now meet Baymax here.
Soarin' is officially closed until the summertime. The attraction will be adding the third theater, upgrading the current theaters to digital projection, and introducing the new Soarin' film, which features landmarks from around the world. That all sounds great, but it should be very interesting to see how the park functions with really only one E-Ticket in Test Track.
Soarin’ is officially closed until summer. The attraction will be adding the third theater, upgrading the current theaters to digital projection, and introducing the new Soarin’ film, which features landmarks from around the world. That all sounds great, but it should be very interesting to see how the park functions with really only two E-Tickets: Test Track and Mission Space.

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Captain EO's replacement, the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival is up and running.
Captain EO’s replacement, the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival is up and running.
The shorts it is showing.
The shorts it is showing.
Same aesthetics as EO, just different banners.
Same aesthetics as EO, just different banners.

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Only slightly embarrassing that letters are missing on the signage for the new attraction that just opening a few days ago.
Slightly embarrassing that letters are missing on the signage for the new attraction that just opening a few days ago.
Pretty soon, this area should be transforming into the butterfly garden for Flower and Garden Festival.
Pretty soon, this area should be transforming into the butterfly garden for Flower and Garden Festival.
Rumor has it that a DVC exclusive lounge is going to be installed in the old second floor Imageworks in the Imagination pavilion. Something that the general public loved. That would now be exclusive to only a select few. Court of Angels all over again?
Rumor has it that a DVC exclusive lounge is going to be installed in the old second floor Imageworks in the Imagination pavilion.
Some holiday decor still up.
Some holiday decor still up.
The stage is up still, but the performances are done. These speakers, however, were blasting Katy Perry music. In the middle of Future World, that doesn't make a ton of sense.
The stage is up still, but the performances are done. These speakers, however, were blasting Katy Perry music (in the middle of Future World), that doesn’t make a ton of sense.

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Mission: Space no longer has HP as a sponsor.
Mission: Space no longer shows HP as a sponsor.

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It's interesting because Star Wars Launch Bay is sponsored by HP Enterprise, so I wonder if new signs will pop up for that here as well.
It’s interesting because Star Wars Launch Bay is sponsored by HP Enterprise, so I wonder if new signs will pop up for that here as well.
90 minute wait at 10am for Test Track. Expect that to grow now that Soarin' is closed.
90 minute wait at 10am for Test Track. Expect that to grow now that Soarin’ is closed.
Some refurb work being done on the outdoor portion of Test Track.
Some refurb work being done on the outdoor portion of Test Track.
Monorail!
Monorail!
Epcot's Christmas tree is now down.
Epcot’s Christmas tree is now down.

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Some detail and color is finally starting to happen at the Norway Frozen meet and greet.
Some detail and color is finally starting to happen at the Norway Frozen meet and greet.

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Construction walls for Frozen Ever After now extend all the way out near the Akershus restaurant.
Construction walls for Frozen Ever After now extend all the way out near the Akershus restaurant.

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Since I missed it in 2015, here are the wonderful new additions of the old Mickey Mouse revue animatronics to Gran Fiesta Tour.
Since I missed it in 2015, here are the wonderful new additions of the old Mickey Mouse revue animatronics to Gran Fiesta Tour.

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Screens used to be almost the whole ride.
Screens used to be almost the whole ride.

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Ta-da!
Ta-da!

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These AAs really enhance the attraction. Kudos to Disney for surprising us all and doing something like this.
These AAs really enhance the attraction. Kudos to Disney for surprising us all and doing something like this.

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Daisy now meets where Duffy used to.
Daisy now meets where Duffy used to be.

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Time to head out!
Time to head out!

That does it for this week’s column. How do you feel about Soarin’ being down for up to 6 months? Is the Pixar film festival a good replacement for EO? Looking forward to Norway’s sweeping changes? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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