Hello, and welcome to Dateline Disney World! This week, we will look at the installation of holidays decor at Epcot as well as a Test Track update. We’ll also take a swing by the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We’ve got over 70 photos for you this week, so let’s get started!!

[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-vbVkdkc/0/O/epcot-1.png[/img]

Welcome to Epcot!!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7421.jpg[/img]

[center][size=5][b]Holiday Time[/b][/size]
[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-SZZMqhJ/0/O/inside-epcot-02.png[/img][/center]

Now that Food and Wine Festival is over, the holidays are starting to roll out at Epcot. They haven’t quite finished all of it, but there is a bunch to report on.

Right at the entrance gate, these fancy ornaments are hanging.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7316.jpg[/img]

Decorations are up in MouseGear as well.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7322.jpg[/img]

The Mickey floral behind Spaceship Earth has gone all red.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7428.jpg[/img]

The icon tree is up at the entrance to World Showcase.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7338.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7340.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7341.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7402.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7418.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7342.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7343.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7420.jpg[/img]

Decor is also up on the World Showcase Promenade gift shops.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7347.jpg[/img]

For those of you who enjoy Duffy, he can now be seen in Santa attire.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7349.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7353.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7356.jpg[/img]

Heading into World Showcase, not all of the pavilions are decorated yet, but here are the ones that are!

Mexico:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7358.jpg[/img]

Norway:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7360.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7364.jpg[/img]

Germany:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7366.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7367.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7368.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7369.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7372.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7373.jpg[/img]

Italy:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7375.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7376.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7378.jpg[/img]

American Adventure is partially done:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7379.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7380.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7383.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7385.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7386.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7391.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7396.jpg[/img]

UK:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7405.jpg[/img]

Canada:

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7417.jpg[/img]

Overall, it’s really great to be in the spirit of the holidays, and I cannot wait until the Storytellers start, the Voices of Liberty sing carols, and the Peace on Earth tag explodes over the sky after Illuminations.

[center][size=5][b]Re-Track[/b][/size]
[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-SZZMqhJ/0/O/inside-epcot-02.png[/img][/center]

Test Track is making its way towards its supposed December 6th reopening. And we have some exterior changes to finally report on! The canopy is basically finished.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7424.jpg[/img]

I, like some others, wished that the canopy would have gone away with this re-design, but at least it does look better than it used to.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7425.jpg[/img]

There are icons on the canopy that go along with the 4 types of design you will take part of in the interactive part of the attraction.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7326.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7327.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7328.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7329.jpg[/img]

Chevy is also represented.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7324.jpg[/img]

As well as a fun little nod to World of Motion, the beloved dark ride that occupied this space before Test Track.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7325.jpg[/img]

Later in the day, a Disney photographer was doing some promotional work with a CM in the new (and rather ugly) costumes for the attraction.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7423.jpg[/img]

[center][size=5][b]This and That[/b][/size]
[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-SZZMqhJ/0/O/inside-epcot-02.png[/img][/center]

Disney announced last week that Starbucks will be heading into the FountainView restaurant location near the Fountain of Nations.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7321.jpg[/img]

In my eyes, this is a huge move, and a very positive one. I’m a fan of Starbucks coffee, and after seeing the treatment Disney gave FF&P out at California Adventure, I think this will be a nice jolt to this place, which is usually pretty empty when I’ve been there.

There are some signs of Food and Wine still lingering. The Cranberry Bog is drained and behind walls.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7336.jpg[/img]

The biergarten is behind planters as well, and the Germany booth there is the only booth still standing.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7365.jpg[/img]

Some refurbishment is going on at the top of La Hacienda de San Angel.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7357.jpg[/img]

And lastly, the walls are still up in Innoventions Plaza, where I’m guessing the centralized Fastpass+ machines for the park will go.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7426.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7427.jpg[/img]

[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-8FBwWXS/0/O/hollywoodstudios-1.png[/img]

Welcome to the Studios!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7461.jpg[/img]

[center][size=5][b]Flashing Lights[/b][/size]
[img]http://datelinedisneyland.smugmug.com/Other/DDW/i-826KStd/0/O/inside-hollywoodstudios-02.png[/img][/center]

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights is one of my favorite things to see all year round at DHS, and was glad to see it this week.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7431.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7435.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7437.jpg[/img]

Duffy makes an appearance this year.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7438.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7440.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7443.jpg[/img]

There are so many great photo ops here!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7444.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7445.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7448.jpg[/img]

The Osborne Family stockings.

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7450.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7454.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7455.jpg[/img]

The family’s Halloween Cat makes an appearance again, but I won’t tell you where it is!

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7465.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7467.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7468.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7471.jpg[/img]

[img]http://www.miceshots.com/usr/72/DatelineDisneyWorld1114-IMG_7481.jpg[/img]

Overall, the event is tons of fun, and runs from now until January, so if you have a chance to head to the park, don’t miss it!

Well, that wraps things up for this week’s Dateline! Do you think Disney will have Test Track done and ready to go for December 6th? Or will it be a repeat of when the attraction originally opened? Will you be seeing the Osborne Lights this year? Let us know in the comments!!

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If you enjoyed the column, especially the photos, and you want to check out more photos and tutorials on Disney photography, please check out my photo site, [URL=”http://www.DisneyPhotographyBlog.com”]Disney Photography Blog[/URL]. And if you like listening more than reading, you can hear us talk about Disney and photography on my podcast, [URL=”http://www.ISO5571.com”]ISO5571[/URL]

  • giantnfl

    When I was in Epcot this past Tuesday night around 9pm they were actually testing cars on the exterior track of Test Track! They weren’t going full speed, but they looked to be almost perfectly running to me. It’s coming soon!

  • Great update Cory.

    The good news about Test Track is that the ride has been turned over to Operations, which means it could run soft openings later this month, well ahead of the announced reopening.

  • DisneySam

    I miss the lighted archways in Epcot. Those were probably my favorite of all the WDW holiday decor. And they used to “dance” to music long before the Osbourne lights!

  • Monkeyofframp

    That tree in the EPCOT promenade looks like it’s sparsely decorated with recycled garbage. Hardly the tree one expects from a Disney park.

    • Amy VandenBoogert

      Seeing it lit up at night you might have a different opinion. The lights are the star of that tree. Beautiful.

  • HMF

    I would still like to know why there is a Mickey floral in Epcot rather than an Epcot Logo floral

  • jbm500

    It will be great to have test track back again.

  • Amy VandenBoogert

    I was at Epcot Saturday (the 17th) and they were testing cars around 6:30-ish pm. A cast member stationed outside the blocked off wall told me they totally gutted the inside (which was already pretty much gutted to begin with. He said the basics of the original Test Track are still there, but how you go about it all will be completely different. He said it’s going to be really cool. I hope so!

    Also, the walls around the former cranberry bog are down and the holiday topiary is up. Mickey & Minnie are at the front (there was a Photopass photographer set up there) and Pluto & his doghouse in the back.