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Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Discussion Thread

P. 143: Revamped annual passes coming on September 8!

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http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/01/more-fun-surprises-in-store-for-the-magic-the-memories-and-you-at-disney-parks/

 

One of the true delights of the recent holiday season at Disney Parks was a special segment during our evening projection show, “The Magic, The Memories and You!” The faces of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park were transformed into gingerbread masterpieces, brightly colored packages and palaces of ice.

 

Well if you enjoyed that, our Creative Entertainment team has another treat in store, just in time for Valentine’s Day! A new show segment is set to debut Feb. 1, inspired by some of the most romantic moments in Disney animation. Cinderella Castle and “it’s a small world” will be covered in red roses for one sequence and turned into a beautiful, star-filled sky for another. During part of the show, spectacular stained glass windows will grace the façades, depicting the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Belle.


 

One of my favorite moments comes when the king and queen from “Tangled” appear on a balcony, lifting a single lantern to the sky for their missing daughter. It’s soon joined by hundreds of others, creating a magical sight sure to draw “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! Of course, the most heart-warming part of any segment of “The Magic, The Memories and You!” is the images of our guests, captured by Disney PhotoPass photographers during the day and incorporated into the show each night. 


 

The romance segment is planned to run as part of “The Magic, The Memories and You!” through mid-April but we’re not stopping there. Wait until you see “it’s a small world” as a sand castle in a segment we’re working on for summer. It’s chock full of detail… right up to the point where Goofy rides a wave across the façade, washing it all away to reveal… well, I don’t want to spoil all the surprises!

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To give you an idea of what Disney has planned for the Summer segment coming later this year!

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So yesterday I had the chance to make it over to the Magic Kingdom to try out a test run of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, which is currently play testing on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, although it is expected to go into soft openings spanning the entire week starting next week until it is ready to debut officially.

 

One major note to be considered before you read this photo report is that the game is currently running with certain aspects of the gameplay not yet enabled, including altered difficulty levels, game saves that continue after one day of play, the possibility of using defense spells against attacks from the villains, and possibly more that was not revealed to us during our day.

 

I don't want to spoil story details because this game adds so many new layers of story to the Magic Kingdom, the discovery of such is all part of the appeal of the game. What I will say is that Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an incredible new offering for the park that will definitely give guests even more to do while at the park. Having played seven of the eight missions (not including the finale) offered so far, we spent a good six hours playing all of these straight through. But with the ability (when the game launches) to pick up where you left off on another day as well as the chance to collect (and eventually buy) new cards, there is a great deal of depth to the game that I think will make it a true success.

 

Oh, and I filmed a video of the new Valentine's segment that was added to Magic, Memories & You! earlier this week! Enjoy!

 

[coastertube]http://www.themeparkreview.com/coastertube/play.php?vid=00000_e10a[/coastertube]

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The former firehouse shop has been replaced with the base and tutorial center for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.

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This is why we were here!

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The space is small, but with two registration desks and two tutorial booths, they move guests through very quickly.

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The center booth is purely for show but the two outside sections are training portals.

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The game requires very little technical knowledge (at least in the form we played).

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Each guest is supplied with five spell cards as well as a sorcerer key card. The key card stores your progress (presumably via RFID) and activates portals by running it against the keyhole at each station.

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Merlin is the main protagonist of the story, guiding you through each quest as they begin and end.

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Here were my cards for the day. Each guest can get five cards per day, using an active admission ticket that day.

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Since I was with a friend, we had ten cards total, and there were no duplicates between us.

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There are currently 70 cards in active circulation, although one of them is EXTREMELY rare and is quickly being pulled from the distribution when found. We were told that the number of cards is expected to increase down the road, with the option to buy new cards also being a strong possibility in the near future.

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Along with your cards, you are given a nifty little map that details all of the locations found within the game (so far).

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Our first mission was on Main Street USA. Main Street has one story, Adventureland has three, Frontierland/Liberty Square has two and Fantasyland has two. After completing all available missions, a final mission against Hades is available for play.

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Starting our mission on Main Street, we were led a new time board which hosts a portal.

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The total story of the game is that Hades is seeking to gain the pieces of Merlin's Crystal of the Magic Kingdom to take over. Teaming with villains he has found in his river of souls (meaning that all of the villains he works with have been dead), he orchestrates a plan to get exactly what he wants.

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Most of the original voices (including James Woods) returned to voice their respective characters, aside from the few that had passed away, as well as David Spade who did not return to voice Emperor Kuzco.

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After finishing each duel/challenge at a portal, you are directed to the next location you are meant to visit.

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Do you know where the portal is?

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Found it!

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Hidden camera?

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Main Street has some of the best-camoflagued portals in the park.

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Henchmen of the main villains are also included in the game, giving you an early chance to play around with some spells.

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Much of Main Street is under tarps for refurbishment.

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The blending of the portal is pretty unique here.

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Though it does make it a little harder to see the portal details.

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Another well disguised window.

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Spells can be performed using multiple cards at once, and while it doesn't currently affect the outcome of the game, it should matter when the full launch is in place.

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A second recruitment booth can be found in Liberty Square right behind the Christmas Shoppe.

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Some of the portals are loading with extra details, like this one found in Liberty Square.

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Some sections of the mission require the use of the back of your spell cards, or the Sorcerers Crest, as it is referred to in the game.

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Time to activate another portal!

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Some of the portal locations have received an engraved logo marking where players are meant to stand. Some of the locations still have the sticker in place instead.

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Frontierland is currently in the middle of a massive repaving project, forcing the Main Street Electrical Parade to go on hiatus for a short time.

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Some portals are hidden behind curtains to help blend them into their respective environments.

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Dr. Facilier is one of Liberty Square/Frontierland's villains.

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Found a neat little tribute to Disneyland... "The gateway to Nature's Wonderland!"

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Giving the multiple spells trick another try.

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One of the more low-key windows in Adventureland.

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Merlin can be found on land-specific attractions at the beginning of each mission. Here he is found on the Jungle Cruise and in Fantasyland you can see him in the Mad Tea Party Teacups.

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The portal at the tower near Pirates of the Caribbean worked quite well.

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We used the "Pink Elephants on Parade" spell to take out one of Scar's henchman hyenas.

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The portal in the Tortuga Tavern fireplace was also extremely well themed.

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Some new details have appeared in the Tortuga Tavern tying into the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

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Another Adventureland portal sits to the right of the Sunshine Tree Terrace (sadly, no Orange Bird to be found).

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The pathway between Haunted Mansion and the old Fantasyland Skyway building is beginning to be cleared.

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A large construction wall now blocks off the entire Skyway area. A new restroom building is expected to be built next to the new path, meant to replace the soon-to-close restrooms next to Peter Pan.

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The Fastpass line for Peter Pan is currently being worked on.

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Despite the removal of Dumbo and the expansion of the construction walls into Fantasyland, the space does look a lot more open with Dumbo now out of the way.

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The Castle Retaining Wall continues to receive new detail.

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Scaffolding is coming down around the Be Our Guest Restaurant as it draws closer to facade completion.

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Storybook Circus is expected to open around March with one of the two Dumbo spinners, the Fantasyland Station, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station and The Barnstormer.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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(Continued)

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New structure work has begun on the end of The Little Mermaid realm in preparation for the Scuttle's Scavenger Hunt section of the building.

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Work continues on Prince Eric's castle.

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An early sign piece has arrived, and while it isn't the final product, I believe this is the entrance to the restrooms, as pointed out in a blueprint of the complex.

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The brickwork on the Fantasyland Station (the official title of the new train station) is done.

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The newer Dumbo spinner is nearly complete and has been frequently testing since its installation.

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Dumbo's circus tent is also nearing completion.

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Over in Fantasyland, the portals blend in extremely well!

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This window is located next to Philharmagic.

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The game got a little backed up due to how many players were in rotation, but we never waited more than a few minutes for our turn at a portal.

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Each storyline has a few twists, including some villains who try to backstab Hades.

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SHARK! SHARK! SHARK!!!

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Merlin's lab is the location of another portal found in Fantasyland.

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The Barnstormer will be the ride's official title when it returns, though the Great Goofini story will be kept.

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The construction walls for New Fantasyland are encroaching on Fantasyland's territory.

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There won't be anything left of the old Skyway building soon enough.

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Thunder Mountain is currently undergoing a major refurbishment.

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Very clever!

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Work can be seen on the ride from the train.

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Should look great when it comes back!

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Lots of work being done here!

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A look at the train side of the Fantasyland Station.

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The Barnstormer's station has been completely updated with a new look.

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Over in Stitch's Great Escape, I noticed this little beauty sitting on a seat that was out of commission for the day.

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We're seizing the future...

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Awesome update, Adam.

 

I'm curious though- it looked like they're doing a hefty amount of reconstruction on BTMR- normally they don't overscaffold track like that unless they're planning on replacing steel along the course.

 

And the MK game looks -amazing- to me. I can only hope we get it here in the west ASAP, as I'd probably blow a lot of time playing the f'ing game myself!

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Thanks for the report, Adam. Disney may have come up with a good answer to Harry Potter here. I wonder if Animal Kingdom and the Studios have any sort of "Sorcerors/Kim Possible" game in their future?

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Someone got nostalgic when Mr Toad came up...this was my kicker. It's been about 8 1/2 years since I went on, but I remember it as if it was last week; I can still feel the breathing down my neck!

 

As for the game, I'm not sure what to think of it; it seems really creative, but I've never been into the whole RPG style games like Final Fantasy, Elder Scrolls, and Kingdom Hearts that have the leveled attacks. I just found the idea behind it really confusing. Hopefully I'm in the minority here, because it looks really neat and should be a hit with people into RPGs.

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I think this looks pretty cool, and was a good move on Disney's part. I've always wanted stuff at parks to be much more personalized and interactive, and this looks like a pretty good start to getting there. I'm going to the parks tomorrow, so I'll definitely try this out and see what I think about it.

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I was at the park today and got pictures of Eli doing the parade and interviews. Although I'm not a huge sports fan, it's always cool to be so close to the professionals, especially a day after the Super Bowl! Lots of Giants fans turned out, but not as many as the Packers last year.

 

http://thepointol.com/walt-disney-world/photo-gallery-eli-manning-super-bowl-parade-at-magic-kingdom/

 

 

http://thepointol.com/walt-disney-world/photo-gallery-eli-manning-super-bowl-parade-at-magic-kingdom/

Edited by TPOLMike
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Cast members were informed of the following yesterday. WDW Parks will be enforcing the one hour window on all Fast Passes

 

Disney's FASTPASS service return time reminder

02/08/2012

 

In order to provide the best experience possible for everyone at our theme parks, all Walt Disney World Guests will be expected to return within their Disney's FASTPASS return time window, effective March 7.

 

Disney's FASTPASS service plays an important role in our Guests' ability to enjoy their visit to one of our Walt Disney World theme parks, and our ability to provide this great service is dependent upon Guests returning during the designated window. The vast majority of our Guests are aware of their return times and arrive in the window printed on the Disney's FASTPASS ticket.

 

As more Guests choose to take advantage of this feature, we want to provide the same opportunity to everyone. By asking all Guests to return within the window printed on their pass, more Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this great service.

 

This is not a change, but simply a reminder of our existing policy. All Cast Members are expected to adhere to this policy when visiting the parks as Guests.

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http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/02/look-for-these-new-kids-menu-items-starting-feb-15-in-magic-kingdom-park/

 

While some little ones are content with mac ‘n cheese or a burger, other young guests have a, well, more sophisticated approach to dining. Four Magic Kingdom Park table-service restaurants are adding some delicious new dishes just for kids for ages 3 to 9. At Tony’s Town Square, look for a steak skewer “spiedini” with roasted sweet potato fries and fresh fruit (spiedini refers to cubes of meat cooked on a skewer, an Italian specialty). Also at Tony’s, a grilled cheese sandwich on multigrain bread sliced into “dippers” with tomato sauce on the side should appeal to just about any child.

 

Liberty Tree Tavern is featuring a new barbecued chicken and pineapple flatbread pizza with a side of crisp veggies and apples, or oven-roasted turkey with mashed potatoes, veggies and fruit.

 

At Cinderella’s Royal Table, youngsters can try the new chicken drumette with rice and broccolini, grilled beef skewers with mashed potatoes and corn, or a chicken pot pie topped with a biscuit crust. (We want to try that one.)

 

And The Plaza Restaurant has a kids’ plate with grilled chicken slices, cous cous and a fresh fruit skewer. Ah, to be a young ‘un again.

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Liberty Tree Tavern is featuring a new barbecued chicken and pineapple flatbread pizza with a side of crisp veggies.

This looks delicious! I'd like to see an adult portion of this.

 

Either way, kudos to the resort for re-thinking a lot of their food offerings lately.

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Cast members were informed of the following yesterday. WDW Parks will be enforcing the one hour window on all Fast Passes

 

Disney's FASTPASS service return time reminder

02/08/2012

 

In order to provide the best experience possible for everyone at our theme parks, all Walt Disney World Guests will be expected to return within their Disney's FASTPASS return time window, effective March 7.

 

Disney's FASTPASS service plays an important role in our Guests' ability to enjoy their visit to one of our Walt Disney World theme parks, and our ability to provide this great service is dependent upon Guests returning during the designated window. The vast majority of our Guests are aware of their return times and arrive in the window printed on the Disney's FASTPASS ticket.

 

As more Guests choose to take advantage of this feature, we want to provide the same opportunity to everyone. By asking all Guests to return within the window printed on their pass, more Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this great service.

 

This is not a change, but simply a reminder of our existing policy. All Cast Members are expected to adhere to this policy when visiting the parks as Guests.

 

 

I would hate to be the Cast Members that are going to have to enforce this policy change. They already get chewed out by guests when their children don't meet a certain hight requirement. I can only imagine the reaction to telling a guest that they are an hour or two late and cant ride.

 

I wonder how long Disney will enforce this policy before giving it up.

 

 

I hope this policy stays far, far away from Disneyland.

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Most people do already go during the time. Its only a handful of people who don't come on time, and even less who actually know you can go late and abuse they system (mainly Annual Pass holders IMO). That being said, for WDW, I don't see this having a large impact, as there aren't that many APs there. But at Disneyland... I can see a lot of people don't go back on time for what ever reason. I know I go late on occasion, but its mostly just a bit late, not hours.

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http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/02/video-walt-disney-imagineering-talks-sorcerers-of-the-magic-kingdom-game/

 

Last month, we gave you an exclusive sneak peek at Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, the new interactive game that has been testing at Magic Kingdom Park for several weeks.

 

So many of you expressed enthusiasm to learn more about the experience that we’ve gone straight to the source to find the answers. Check out the following video, in which Jonathan Ackley, Project Producer & Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, shares more about the game.

 

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