Greetings MiceChatters! Coming to you live from the place Where Magic Lives is... ME! Here is this week's WDW update. And as always, there's a link at the bottom of this post for photos.
General WDW Updates
Well, we now will have Western Way. Western Way is the new rear entrance to Walt Disney World from the new Western Beltway expressway. It opens April 4th to connect to Buena Vista Drive next to the Coronado Springs Resort. The four-lane, divided boulevard will give Disney a western entrance for the first time, allowing tourists coming in via Interstate 75 to enter Central Florida on Florida's Turnpike and the Western Beltway (State Road 429), then enter Disney without ever entering Orlando or driving on Interstate 4.
Roy Disney is staying at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa this week. Various people have reported meeting him, and I walked right past him in Epcot tonight. (No, I didn't see him, otherwise I would have stopped him. I found out after the fact, and he was in the UK IllumiNations Private Viewing Area.)
Land For Sale
Disney has decided to sell certain areas of land that WDW no longer wants or needs. One area has been sold near Disney's Animal Kingdom, and another area near Animal Kingdom Lodge is up for sale. Another area North of the Magic Kingdom was sold. For the full story from the Orlando Sentinel, click here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...ostemailedlink.
Magic Kingdom Park Updates
Pirates of the Caribbean
I got a glimpse of the rehab while I was at Magic Kingdom this week. Looks like a normal cleaing to me. I did find out that the parrot is gone from the entrance, and he will not be coming back. Instead he will be replaced by a talking skull and crossbones.
Main Street U.S.A.
The buildings on Main Street need a major rehab. Paint is coming off, wood is rotting, and the cement is cracking and breaking. I know they already started on a major replacement for the cement, but it really needs to get done more quickly. And I can see the back of the newer Emporium building from inside the park... it looks like a warehouse. Why have I never noticed this building before?
The camel near the Magic Carpets of Aladdin isn't moving its head to spit on nearby guests as they walk through Adventureland. He's spitting in the same place. And some hippos on the Jungle Cruise aren't working at all.
The Hopping Brer Rabbit still doesn't work on Splash Mountain. The jumping leapfrog fountains in the Laughing Place aren't working on Splash Mountain. Half of the other water effects aren't working in the Laughing Place on Splash Mountain. Splash Mountain needs help. The settler's cabin on Tom Sawyer Island is no longer burning.
The Haunted Mansion
The interior graveyard scene is still not in sync. (the singing busts aren't in sync with the opera singers, etc.)
The lighting effect above Stitch's Great Escape is still not operational. The TTA still calls the Prison the Convention Center. And the Timekeeper has been turned over to WDI.
Fountain of Nations
The Fountain is being repaired. Many nozzles have been out for a long time, and they are finally being fixed!!
The Children's Viking Play Area is being refurbished.
Reflections of Earth
The torches are now being lit a full 15 minutes before showtime. Previously it had been 2.5 minutes before showtime. I just took some photos.
Disney-MGM Studios Updates
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
The Evil Tower U R Doomed is still missing from the box.
Great Movie Ride
In the line queue, Narnia costumes have replaced the holographic chess board from Star Wars.
Star Wars Weekends
A Star Wars Weekends Stage has been setup outside Star Tours. Coming every Fri, Sat, and Sun from May 19th through June 11th.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Park Updates
A new tower of TVs and camping gear is now at the entrance to the park, a display for the upcoming Discovery Networks Everest Series. The ride itself still does not have steam at the station, it has no fog inside the mountain, it is still fairly light inside the mountain going backwards, and a roar of the yeti was added to the end of the ride, making it a much more complete journey. Once the problems are fixed, it should be much better. The new lighting at night is pretty impressive, and I'll have some photos tomorrow.
Asia's New Eatery
The bus in Asia has been moved between the Restrooms and the Everest FastPass Distribution area. The new restaurant will open in the old location of the bus, taking over the nearby gazebo and the seating area for the McDonald's Fries.
Tree of Life
The Tree is having its lighting fixed up to restore it to its original glory. The tree in more recent years has had more generic lighting at night, and now it's getting more color.
The geysers are now almost all operational at Kilimanjaro Safaris, and many enhancements are planned in the future.
Downtown Disney Updates
World of Disney
Well, if you've been reading up, you know that we have a brand new Princess Room as well as a Pirates Room at the World of Disney. They are very cute, and each feature a limited animatronic as the center of each room. Go check them out if you're down here. They're both pretty cool.
Major Construction should start in April. I'll keep you informed.
For all photos, please click here:
Anyway, that's my WDW update for this week.