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P. 140: Walt Disney World 50th anniversary celebration details released!

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After 21 years as a musician, I was also terminated via email.   Not sure how much a difference it will make, but if you miss LIVE entertainment, feel free to email WDW at   wdw.guest.comm

Might be an unpopular opinion with some of the don't change anything to old rides Disney fans but I think this is great that they are updating it. The last few times I went on it at both parks I thoug

It was very interesting after spending several days at Disney last week to visit Universal yesterday and see how much live entertainment they had! I wonder why Disney cut everyone while Universal seem

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According to TouringPlans on Twitter, this area includes shade, a DJ, merchandise, and Guitar Hero video games and seems to be aimed at entertaining guests comfortably while they wait to ride.


Disney still just can't give up the idea that less time in line means more money spent in shops. (Of course, even if that's true, the problem is that "less time in line" has never yet been achieved.)


I'm all for the kid's playground/meet and greet line idea, though.


/Waiting to see what new evil they'll spread through the industry.

//Still haven't forgiven them for Fast Pass in the first place.

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I found this interesting...


The link below is an article of the new system:




Some pics of the que area:




In my opinion, it may cut down on fastpass usage, but not by much. This is interesting to say the least, but I think this would only work for a few of the higher thrill rides (RnR, Test Track, Soarin') and not for the "Dumbo" ride and the type of crowds it would attract i.e. A bunch of families with small children in a roam around area that will probably miss their time to ride due to this new queuing system.

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  • 3 weeks later...



Passholders, here’s a pretty sweet deal if you’re into NASCAR. Stop by Walt Disney World Speedway — it’s situated right in front of Magic Kingdom — and you can do a Ride Along from Richard Petty Driving Experience for free. This program normally costs more than $100 per person.


Show your Disney pass and you’ll get to ride shotgun for three mile-long laps in a NASCAR-style race car reaching speeds up to 140 mph with a professional driving instructor. This offer is good through March 31. You must be at least 14 years old to ride, and participants younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Free ride-alongs are limited to one per passholder for the three-month promotion. While at the track, passholders can enter to win an 18-lap King’s Driving Experience valued at $919.04 and Richard Petty-signed diecast car. Monthly winners also will be drawn to win an 8-lap Rookie Driving Experience, valued at $486.04. These contests are open to passholders 18 and older with valid drivers licenses.


I think that this is actually a pretty interesting give away, considering that as a passholder, I would have never bothered to give the Driving Experience a try (especially not for the price). I'll definitely be taking advantage of this offer, considering the value.

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The coaster unload area is still in the same location as it has been before. So nothing is changed. I got to ride it 3 time today. I am very happy with the new minimal upgrade. It has retained its classic feel while upgrading a few things. The ride is certainly a bit darker now with the enclosing of the loading area as well as removing the glow in the dark strips off the sides of the coaster cars. You can no longer see any of the coaster cars while riding the peoplemover. The ride itself does run a little smoother especially during the few places when the coaster runs over the anti-roll backs. Other than not having onboard music, this was the upgrade I have been looking forward to for a long while. Hooray for classic Space Mountain.

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^ I've heard a few times that people couldn't ride the cars back up the small lift anyway because of clearance issues. Of course, I don't know that for a fact, but the fact that you've ridden the new version, Erik, and have verified that load/unload is the same clears it up for me.


As for the removal of the glow-in-the-dark panels, while I thought it was cool to be able to see "rockets" flying through space, the resulting darker ride is a big improvement---even here in CA.



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I was in WDW last week and had the chance to take advantage of this offer. It was awesome! You basically just go to the speedway, sign a form, put on an unflattering suit, get fitted for a helmet, jump in the car and they take you around the track for 3 laps. I'm not into race car stuff, but I had a blast and I can imagine that the full experience for someone who really likes this is incredible. I never had any plans to do this, but I'm really glad that I got to try it!


Here I am all suited up for a few laps around the WDW Speedway.

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I was in WDW last week and had the chance to take advantage of this offer. It was awesome! You basically just go to the speedway, sign a form, put on an unflattering suit, get fitted for a helmet, jump in the car and they take you around the track for 3 laps. I'm not into race car stuff, but I had a blast and I can imagine that the full experience for someone who really likes this is incredible. I never had any plans to do this, but I'm really glad that I got to try it!


You look good in blue.


I used to be into NASCAR and all that and this looks like fun. Too bad I'm not a WDW passholder... Otherwise I'd be down at the speedway already.

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I was in WDW last week and had the chance to take advantage of this offer. It was awesome! You basically just go to the speedway, sign a form, put on an unflattering suit, get fitted for a helmet, jump in the car and they take you around the track for 3 laps. I'm not into race car stuff, but I had a blast and I can imagine that the full experience for someone who really likes this is incredible. I never had any plans to do this, but I'm really glad that I got to try it!


Unflattering???? You look great in that driving suit.

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A new 3-D model of the upcoming expansion has made its way onto the internet and into the hands of the fans:




Today we are thrilled to be able to show you this image we acquired of an actual sculpted model of the Fantasyland redo.

You’ll notice some derivations from the blueprints. Notably, the ‘Dueling Dumbos’ has swapped places with Pixie Hollow, which now appears to be a Fairies themed version of California Adventures’ Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree with a formal meet & greet area behind it. Toontown is completely gone as expected (not just refurbished) save for the Barnstormer, but whether it will be re-themed for either Dumbo as Casey Jr or for Snow White and a mine train remains to be seen. It also appears that the Hundred Acre Wood/Winnie the Pooh meet & greet area didn’t make the cut.


Image courtesy of Stitch Kingdom

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^ It looks cool, but I kind of wish I knew what I was looking at a bit better.


Anyone want to take the image and label them with what attraction is which?


I don't get their sudden insistance on using blue lighting on these displays. It's very hard to make out what you're looking at.


I like the new placement of Dumbo, but I'm wondering how they'll theme the back of the queue building so it fits in with the Speedway.

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I love the fact that they are adding another attraction to the area, the Fairies version of Junkyard Jamboree. The model is quite impressive looking, thanks for the links.

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With Walt Disney World preparing to break ground on the big Fantasyland overhaul at the Magic Kingdom soon, the government that oversees the property is preparing to spend money on the work, too.


The Reedy Creek Improvement District’s board of supervisors this morning signed off on a tentative budget to pay for extending the district’s electrical and reclaimed-water lines to serve the expanded Fantasyland. The price tag? A little over $1.3 million, though that figure includes about $186,000 in contingency money to handle cost overruns.


The district’s board also approved spending the first $60,000 from that $1.3 million budget to cover early design work.

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The Spring 2010 issue of Disney Twenty-Three magazine features a huge article on the Fantasyland Forest expansion (as it is now being referred to according to the article), featuring some never before released details on the project. Here are just a few interesting notes from the article that should be arriving in members mailboxes any day now:


-In early 2006, Walt Disney Imagineering’s Eric Jacobson, creative lead for the Walt Disney World portfolio, and members of WDI’s Blue Sky Studio, led by Jon Georges, began brainstorming new E-ticket-like attractions for the Magic Kingdom. Imagineering’s creative leaders quickly determined that a bold reimagining of Fantasyland would have a far greater and longer-lasting impact on the Magic Kingdom experience than any one E-ticket attraction could ever hope to make.


-That physical separation is a stone wall that will lead from Fantasyland proper into a heavily forested realm that will be far more organic and natural than the bricks, mortar, and asphalt of the existing land. “The expansion area won’t be built over the Utilidor,” Eric says, “so we’re able to plant trees and create water features, which we were never able to do with the rest of Fantasyland.”


-The expansion, which has come to be known as Fantasyland Forest, will provide more fully realized homes for such longtime Magic Kingdom residents as Ariel and Dumbo as well as make room for some new additions to the neighborhood, from Belle and east to Tinker Bell and the fairies of Pixie Hollow. And that was part of the Imagineering team’s goal from the beginning.


-”Our anchor is the Little Mermaid,” Jon explains. “The centerpiece of that area is Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, an E-ticket attraction we codeveloped with the Disney’s California Adventure expansion team. It’s a ride-through experience that celebrates the characters and music from the animated classic.” And true to Imagineering’s goal to create the most immersive fantasy environments possible, the attraction is housed in an elaborately and highly detailed rockwork grotto behind a fully rendered version of Prince Eric’s castle from the film.


-The Beauty and the Beast area is composed of three major show elements. The first is Enchanted Tales with Belle, one of three fairy-tale experiences created for Fantasyland Forest. The adventure begins when guests arrive at Maurice’s cottage, where they step through an enchanted mirror and are magically transported to the Beast’s library for an interactive storytelling session with Belle. At the Be Our Guest Restaurant, guests are invited to dine inside the Beast’s castle in one of three fully rendered environments, including a faithful re-creation of the ballroom. And once outside the castle, guests can explore Belle’s Village, an entire corner of the expansion area that includes Gaston’s Tavern.


-Dreams Come True with Cinderella takes place within the Tremaine Chateau from the 1950 film, and A Birthday Surprise for Sleeping Beauty is tucked away inside Briar Rose Cottage, deep within a lush, Eyvind Earle-inspired forest. “Cinderella’s Chateau is fully realized,” Jon explains. “When you step through the doors of that attraction, your interaction is immediate. You arrive at the moment she realizes she won’t be going to the ball, and her dress will transform from rags to a ball gown before your eyes, and then she’ll step down and have a 15-minute interaction with the guests.” For the Sleeping Beauty experience, that entry point happens as Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather prepare to celebrate Briar Rose’s 16th birthday, smack dab in the middle of the action from the original film. Guests are treated to all sorts of interactive fairy magic inside the cottage, with Aurora herself as the guest of honor.


-”You know, the ability to go to Cinderella’s Chateau and Belle’s Cottage to meet them is very exciting. As Imagineers. we don’t get to build those kinds of iconic locations very often. We’re going to look at this model as our template for other Fantasylands world-wide as we build new Magic Kingdom’s around the world”


-The final area, or neighborhood, is Dumbo’s Circus, which will relocate Dumbo the Flying Elephant from it’s current location and-get this, patient parents-double capacity by adding a second attraction, effectively cutting guests’ wait time in half! Imagineers are also air-conditioning the entire experience by moving the queue indoors-under the big top, as it were. “We’ll provide a fully immersive circus environment inside Dumbo’s Big Top,” says Jon, “where guests are invited to engage in a series of interactive experiences, from sideshow acts to carnival midway games, while they wait. We really endeavored to begin the guest experience the moment they entered the queue.” The Dumbo area, built on the former site of Mickey’s Toontown Fair, will also absorb Goofy’s Barnstormer and transform it into a Dumbo-centric, clown themed coaster.


-And-drumroll please-Fantasyland forest won’t be limited to four neighborhoods for very long. Although the new expansion is slated to open in the fall of 2012, at the tail end of Walt Disney World’s 40th anniversary celebration, Imagineers already have their eyes on 2013, when Pixie Hollow will bring Tinker Bell and her fairy friends to Fantasyland Forest in the expansion’s second phase.

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