Toontown Closing, Anniversary Merchandise and Lots of Music Festivals!
by, 02-13-2011 at 09:13 PM
Toontown has officially closed, 40th anniversary merchandise is flying off the shelves and a lot of area parks are hosting some great musical events! With so many choices in the Orlando area, there is no excuse to stay indoors and not enjoy yourself. While we're sad to see Toontown go, the Fantasyland expansion is moving full steam ahead and as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom, there's another anniversary in Disney's Animal Kingdom that is also grabbing some attention. As an added treat, annual passholders will be given an after hours opportunity to celebrate Expedition Everest's 5th Anniversary.
Exposition Hall has signs with its old name still, but on the map, this is now known as Town Square Theater. Shall we expect new signage soon?
40th Anniversary Merchandise
There is a lot of great new merchandise available in celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Magic Kingdom.
There are lanyards and pins for sale, of course.
Also look for cheaper tchochkes like ornaments and castle keychains.
Ariel and Eric were previously meeting folks at the entrance to Adventureland, but the bridge work has moved them deeper into the land.
The other princesses are inside the Adventureland Veranda (you enter near the Adventureland bridge). Expect long waits.
El Pirata y el Perico underwent a name change to "Tortuga Tavern," to make it fit more obviously with the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
In the side room, look for a book containing the names of the Black Pearl’s crew.
Can you spot the remnant from El Pirata y el Perico here?
$7.50 ponchos for sale outside Splash Mountain. Good idea, or crass money grab?
Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, as seen from behind (taken while on the train).
The final two honey walls in the Pooh Queue had themed coverings over them and were clearly not considered “in commission” right now (though it seemed like it was “on” behind the coverings).
Mickey's Toontown Fair closed forever on Friday, February 11th. We spent quite a bit of time this week getting photos and video of the last days. I still remember when it was Mickey's Birthdayland!
Video of Mickey's Birthdayland train from 1988:
Mickey's Toontown Fair sign:
Cake inside Minnie's oven:
Daisies inside Minnie's house:
Gazebo, Minnie's house:
This was in the hallway before meeting Mickey in the Judges Tent:
Mickey and Minnie:
The Walt Disney Railroad trains continue to stop at this location to add water, even after it's closed. (this photo was from the last day):
Wishes fireworks over Mickey's house:
The back of Mickey's house at night:
Mickey's house, closed:
Minnie's house, closed:
The next day the walls were in place and the deserted Toontown passed into history...
Wait, Mickey’s Toontown Fair is closed?!
The map has changed. Here was the last view of Mickey’s Toontown Fair.
By the next morning, it had been erased… from existence!
You can peek through the green gauze fence to a deserted land.
While Toontown is getting demolished, Mickey and Minnie will be temporarily relocated to Tomorrowland for meet and greets.
Mickey and Minnie are also briefly visible from the train.
Disney just released their schedule for Flower and Garden Festival Flower Power concert series. (Starts March 2nd)
Flower Power Concert Series Lineup
- March 4-6 - Jose Feliciano
- March 11-13 - The Guess Who
- March 18-20 - Chubby Checker and the Wildcats
- March 25-27 - Melissa Manchester
- April 1-3 - Starship starring Mickey Thomas
- April 8-10 - Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.
- April 15-17 - Juice Newton
- April 22-24 - Ricky Nelson Remembered featuring The Nelsons
- April 29 - May 1 - Paul Revere & The Raiders
- May 6-8 - Davy Jones
- May 13-15 - Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone
In addition to announcing the Concert lineup for Flower and Garden, HGTV is sponsoring and offering their hosts to come every weekend during the festival.
HGTV Line Up
At Epcot, prep for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is underway, and the flower quilt is growing in:
- March 4-6 - Genevieve Gorder, HGTV Design Star and Dear Genevieve
The Art of Sculpting Space
- March 11-13 - Lisa LaPorta, Designed to Sell
Design It Yourself: Easy-to-follow Tips for Designing Your Favorite Rooms
- March 18-20 - Kim Myles, Myles of Style
The 5 DIY Secrets That Can Transform Any Space
- March 25-27 - Brian Patrick Flynn, Design Happens, HGTV.com
- April 1-3 - Taniya Nayak, Designed to Sell and Destination Design
Adding Value to Your Home Without Breaking the Bank
- April 8-10 - Ahmed Hassan, Yard Crashers
Life, Love and Landscaping
- April 15-17 - Patti Moreno, Garden Girl, HGTV.com
Gardening with Kids: Fun Seed Starting Projects
- April 22-24 - Michele Beschen, B. Original
When Nature Calls: Creative, Back-to-Basics Style for All Things Natural and Decorative
- April 29-30, May 1 - John Gidding, Curb Appeal: The Block
The Design Process: Curb Appeal Projects from Concept to Construction
- May 6-8 - Frank Fontana, Design on a Dime
Beautiful on a Budget: High Style, Low-Cost Secrets to Bringing Indoor Styling Outside
- May 13-15 - Vern Yip, HGTV Design Star
Top Design Trends Made Affordable and Accessible
Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen at Epcot:
With all these exciting announcements for the 2011 schedule, let's take a look back at some previous years and the wonderful things they had to offer.
Expedition Everest Annual Passholder Event - March 5th
To celebrate Expedition Everest's fifth birthday, annual passholders will have the opportunity to attend a special event on March 5th that will take place after the park closes. Please keep in mind that in order to attend you must register at the passholder website starting Feb. 18th at 12:00p.m.
Expedition Everest Passholder Event Information (In order to view the event information you will need to enter your annual pass ID number to continue)
Some final photos of the demolition of the Rock & Roll Beach Club and Motion:
By and large, I’ve been impressed with the 40th Anniversary merchandise for sale in the Magic Kingdom. First and foremost, we ought to note that it’s a good thing we have any new merch at all. For a few years there, it looked like they stopped caring about providing anything that wasn’t generic. I still get emails from folks disillusioned with the choices and quality of the merchandise compared to the past, but that’s another discussion. For the moment, let’s be grateful there even is a line of 40th merch, and that it’s not generic. They could have just sold giant “40” numbers and called it a day.
Instead, they expended some effort in designing a “busy” look/feel for this celebration, with distinct overtones of scrapbooking. I like the cluttered, nostalgic take. The various hats and memo pages with the scrapbook feel are complimented by an actual photo album (“scrapbook”) for sale, too:
I was sorely tempted by this one. I didn’t want to use it as a repository for my own pictures, though. I wanted it for the default placeholder pics. In the end, I found the price too high, but I’m still pining for an actual book from WDW commemorating its first forty years. Disneyland spits out books like this with such regularity, you’d think Walt Disney World would have gotten the memo by now. Perhaps on “40th Anniversary” memo paper, eh?
In general, the merchandising choices are driven by the bulk customer, not the “niche” market of nostalgic super-fans. I can’t blame that mindset for day to day decisions, but on a big anniversary surely they’d do something different for the fans?
Oh wait. They did. In addition to the big spread of t-shirts and the like you see here, they also offered reproduction ride-ticket books (A through E). One set ($6) contained flat refrigerator magnets of each ticket, while another offering consisted of those “tickets” as memo paper. I’d show you a picture, except they were all sold out in the Emporium when I went to look on Saturday. That says something, doesn’t it? That the market for nostalgia and celebrating the PARKS (not the characters) might not be as “niche” as the received wisdom would have us believe. They were also sold out of the $60 Mickey ears that had a park map imprinted on the inside of the cap. So the collector’s items are going (hopefully they aren’t gone for good already!)
As Walt Disney World builds up a dedicated roster of repeat visitors (the DVC members), they will find themselves increasingly like Disneyland—and the needs and wants of repeat visitors will be different from the (bland) stuff purchased by first-time guests. They are going to need to start paying attention to the “long tail” of the distribution curve, and finding products for the niche markets. That shouldn’t be too hard a chore, though. There are worse things than having customers who want to buy things from you!
On the DVC side of things, one of the "quiet" pools located at the Paddock area is undergoing a change to add another feature pool to this large resort. The new pool has been under construction for almost a year already, and is scheduled to be completed by the summer. It will increase the pool size from 1,100-square-feet pool to 3,300-square-feet, be zero entry, as well as include a children's play area, waterslide, and a new quick service eatery.
D23 NEWS AND EVENTS:
May 12-15 is a busy extended weekend for the D23 staff! It begins with the first East Coast version of the Successful Great Scavenger Hunt they introduced at Disneyland in September. In fact, the Walt Disney World version is so daunting they are wisely splitting it into a 2 day event. After the whirlwind of activity, the weekend promises to be even more exciting as D23 celebrates Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary with its own East Coast Destination D. Highlights of this weekend promise such fun programs as "Walt Disney World: The Way We Were," "The Walt Disney World That Never Was," "Weird Walt Disney World," and of course, the concert of Walt Disney World music, "Magic Journeys: A Flight of Fancy through 40 Years of Walt Disney World Musical Memories." Specials guests and surprises galore are promised, so how can you not be excited to celebrate Walt Disney World's 40th with the people who created it, and with the people who love it as much as we do? For more information, head to D23's page for the events.
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club
Madri Gras kicked off at the Universal Orlando Resort on Saturday Feb 12th with large crowds, more theming, a revamped parade, better costumes, more entertainment, more unique food, and all around awesome time!
Mardi Gras Concerts at Universal Studios Florida
Mardi Gras at Universal Orlando
Every Saturday and select nights from February 12th – April 23rd, catch a live concert by some of the biggest names in music, our most spectacular parade ever, colorful street performers, authentic Cajun food, beads by the handful and more.
Party in the streets as the sounds of The Big Easy fill the air of Universal Orlando® Resort. It's Beads, Bands and Good Times for everyone - Only at Universal Studios® Mardi Gras.
- Feb 19 - B-52's
- Feb 20 - KC and the Sunshine Band
- Feb 26 - Pitbull
- March 6 - Lynyrd Skynrd
- March 12 - Foreigner
- March 18 - Neon Trees
- March 19 - The Roots
- March 25 - OneRepublic
- March 26 - Blake Shelton
- April 1 - Sean Kinston
- April 2 - Ne-Yo
- April 9 - Lifehouse
- April 16 - The Beach Boys
- April 23 - Thirty Seconds to Mars
Real Music Series (remaining dates):
Real Music Series at Busch Gardens Tampa
- Feb 16-19 - The Ventures
- Feb 23-26 - Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone
- March 2-5 - The 5th Dimension
- March 9-12 - The Osmond Brothers
- March 16-19 - Tony Orlando
- March 23-26 - Charo
For the Real Music Series, shows are included with park admission, but you have to have a complimentary ticket to get in (tickets can be obtained behind Gwazi, which is where the shows are. There are 3 shows each day).
Bands, Brews & BBQ (remaining dates):
Bands Brew and BBQ at Busch Gardens Tampa
- Feb 20 - Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
- Feb 27 - The Commodores & The Pointer Sisters
- March 6 - Travis Tritt & The Charlie Daniels Band
The concerts start at 5:00pm and are included with park admission, but if you want to sit close, you need to purchase a VIP ticket for $27.95.
Viva la Musica Festival:
Viva la Musica Festival and Live Concert Busch Gardens
- March 13 - Elvis Crespo
- March 20 - Jose Alberto "El Canario"
- March 27 - Angel & Khriz
- April 3 - Ismael Miranda
Band Brew & BBQ kicks off at SeaWorld Orlando with great food, live entertainment, and Huey Lewis & the News headlining.
YouTube - Huey lewis and the news at seaworld orlando singing the power of love!
Feb 1 - 28
Discovery Cove is offering unique deals for the month of February to help get the perfect gift for Valentine's Day. With three different add-on packages available, ranging in price from $74 to $296, it just might be the perfect gift you're looking for.
Special Valentines Day Packages
Florida State Fair
Feb 10 - 21
The big state fair in sunny Florida happens in Tampa, about 70 minutes up the road from Walt Disney World. It's coming to town from Feb. 10-21, so if your travel plans allow for it, this is a different way to experience the amusement capital of the world. See the official website for tickets and specifics about entertainment options:
Florida State Fair
The international racing sensation brings hordes of crowds and a festive atmosphere to this city about 50 minutes north of Walt Disney World.
DAYTONA 500 - Daytona International Speedway
Bay Area Renaissance Festival
Feb 26 - Apr 17
Grab a turkey leg, put on your best corset and take in a joust. There is a lot of fun to be had at the Annual Bay Area Renaissance Festival. Get dirty with the Filthy Rotten Scoundrels and then clean yourself up with the Washer Well Wenches. Located on the MOSI grounds in Tampa, off Fowler Ave, there is something for everyone in what promises to be a day of fun and merriment. Huzzah!!
Bay Area Renaissance Festival
March 3 - 13
If the State Fair isn't your thing, how about The Florida Strawberry Festival? It's held in Plant City, quite a bit closer than Tampa to Walt Disney World - just a few exits up I-4. This year, it's open from March 3-13. It's like the fair (and has rides, too), but it's smaller in scale. Oh, and it has a bazillion strawberry-affiliated food items, of course.
The Florida Strawberry Festival
Don't forget to check out the other areas of MiceChat that offer news, updates and photos about Disney Parks around the World!
- Dateline Disneyland which is packed with great news and photos from the Disneyland Resort.
- Weekend Update Offers a world of Disney theme parks as well as other sights and landmarks!
- In The Parks offers news, updates and tips from Disneyland and other Southern California offerings.
- And you'll always find something of interest on the forums or MiceAge!
We want your photos! Contribute to the Orlando Parkhopper by emailing [email protected] with your submissions. We welcome volunteers for single contributions as well as permanent "Parkhopper" staff.
Thanks to our fantastic and talented crew of writers, photographers and news contributors who work hard every week to bring you the latest information available: Aimster, KevinYee, YoyoFlamingo, Nbodyhome, King Eric, SparkInTheDark and SummerinFL