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Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Discussion Thread

p. 149 - Tiana's Bayou Adventure opening on June 28th!

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I had a chance to grab the last ride last night (as in, after hours final ride with some Imagineers) but I just kept walking. Normally I would but something just didn't seem that exciting about it to me. Oh well. The wall was up 30 minutes later.

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Always thought this was one of the weakest attractions there. No great loss.




Same here. It rarely had any appreciable line when I've visited the Magic Kingdom (unlike the always insane line for Peter Pan).

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Well you knew this was coming.



Starting June 3rd a one-day, one-park ticket will cost $89/$83 and a park hopper will cost $124/$118.



Today, we’d like to let you know that ticket prices at Walt Disney World Resort will increase on June 3.


While you can find details here, the Magic Your Way ticket is a great value that will continue to offer a variety of options for you to customize your ticket purchase and save on your visit. Florida residents can also take advantage of special pricing on 3-Day and 4-Day tickets and a popular monthly payment plan for annual passes.


Any of these ticket options enable guests to make the most of their Walt Disney World experience, from attractions for the whole family to live entertainment to special moments with our cast.




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Walt Disney Imagineering just shared new details with the Disney Parks Blog about the new interactive queue area that will open at the big top tent at Dumbo the Flying Elephant in New Fantasyland this July.

This innovative queue lounge will completely redefine what it means for guests to prepare for a Disney attraction. Here’s how it will work: Guests arrive at Dumbo’s big top and receive a circus ticket pager that virtually holds their place in line and notifies them when it’s their turn to board the attraction. Kids (and kids of all ages) can then become part of the show inside the tent by enjoying circus-themed play experiences, while Dumbo flies high above.


Here are some photos of what you can expect!





Edited by jedimaster1227
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I knew you would say that! Husband and I go by ourselves, no children. Just saying that it doesn't look as interactive for all ages as say, Haunted Mansion.


That may be true, but if so, that makes it no more interactive for adults than it is now. And I'm sure some of the parents can chime in for the idea of getting a chance to sit and relax while their kids play in a controlled environment rather than having to stand in line and entertain their children for 40 minutes. Seems like a win-win for everyone really.

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So its basically a McDonald's playplace with a sitting area for parents? Not the collection of boardwalk games dispersed through the queue as I expected.

after i first heard that they were going to do like boardwalk games to but i think this is a better idea as most of people who go to disney world will have kids and the just can't cater for adults on every thing

and something tells me that it's better than a macdonalds

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Are you a fan of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom? Can’t wait for Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure to debut this summer? You’re in luck because today’s live chat is about to begin and it’s all about our in-park gaming experiences!


Imagineer Jonathan Ackley will join us right here to answer some of your questions about the behind-the-scenes creation of these interactive experiences. Our chat will begin promptly at 1:15 p.m. but feel free to begin submitting your questions in the comments before we begin. We’ll answer as many as possible in the allotted time.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Hello everyone! The live chat will begin shortly.


Jenn Fickley-Baker: Good afternoon, and welcome to our Disney Parks Blog live chat! For those of you who participated in our first live chat back in November, we want to thank you for your feedback. We’ve taken your comments and applied them here to this live chat. Now a few reminders: We're looking forward to your questions, but please realize we won't have time to answer all of them in today's chat. As you submit questions for Jonathan, they will be put into a queue and will not appear at first in the live-chat window. When they answer, we’ll post the original question in the live-chat. And please keep your questions family-friendly. This chat will also feature video elements, so you may want to adjust your speakers/sound levels now.


Now let’s kick the chat off with our first topic: Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom! Now let me introduce Imagineer Jonathan Ackley. Thanks so much for being here!


Jonathan: Hi, I'm Jonathan Ackley, senior director & interactive show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, and I've been creative director on Kim Possible and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, and the new Agent P World Showcase Adventure.


Jenn: Our readers are very excited, so let’s kick it off with our first question..”


From the blog post: Chadwick asks "How did you decide which “powers” to give certain characters?"


Jonathan: When Merlin was coming up with the spell cards, he used Disney heros and villains as inspiration. By looking at the characters and finding what magical powers or talents they already had, those powers suggested spell ideas to Merlin who put them in our spell book.


Also from the blog: Joyce asks "The SOMK cards seem to have a lot of detail too them. Is there any significance to the patterns/symbols that I might be missing?"


Jonathan: Yes, there's a lot of significance to the detail on the cards. The spell type – "gross," "charming," etc. - refers to a type of spell that a particular villain might be susceptible to. For example, if you cast a "gross" spell on Cruella, on her it will be doubly as effective than other characters. That's very important to know in medium and hard levels.


Comment From Guest: How is working on an interative game like Sorcers of the Magic Kingdom different than working on a ride?


Jonathan: In a ride as a designer, you control the entire guest experience – the visuals, the audio, in an interactive attraction, it's more collaborative. The guest's enjoyment of the experience depends on their desire to play, learn and become the character in the story.


Comment From DisneyDayByDay: How many spell cards can you hold up? I've tried a few before but it seems to only grab one of them.


Jonathan: If you're playing as a single player, it's limited to two - it's limited by the number of people in your party. Depending on the size of our party, you can cast up to six spells at once.


Comment From Terry: Do you find yourself waking up at 3am with an idea??!


Jonathan: I actually usually get my ideas during work hours, I do wake up at 3 a.m. Trying to figure out how I'm going to implement the idea.


From the blog, Mandi asks :What does it ‘take’ to become an Imagineer?"


Jonathan: I worked in the video game industry for many years, working on some well-known adventure games and in the toy industry. In 2001, I came to Walt Disney Imagineering's Research & Development. That led me to create the prototype for Kim Possible and from there I became a producer of theme park attractions. I actually started programming video games when I was 13. That really helped me build my career.


Comment From Keith C.: Will SOMK ever be featured in Tomorrowland or New Fantasyland?


Jonathan: We're always looking at our options, but nothing planned at this point.


Comment From Eric: When will the medium and hard levels be open again?


Jonathan: We're currently doing a lot of investigation into how to run medium and hard levels. we don't have any specific date. We're continuing to test those features.


From the blog: Heather asks "What do you find most interesting/challenging about taking a part of the Disney Parks ‘virtual’?"


Jonathan: The challenge and the fun is identifying new technology and finding ways to combine it with traditional Disney storytelling. It really gives the guest a new view into things they never saw before in our parks. You direct them to areas they may haven't seen. We've been able to bring back characters from movies you love into a new adventure.


Comment From Eric: How long did it take to for SOTMK to go from an idea to release?


Jonathan: Five years!


Jenn Fickley-Baker: We’ve also received a few questions about possible Sorcerers merchandise on the horizon. Well, Disney Parks Blog author Steven Miller just happens to be right here with us to give a few updates. Welcome, Steven.


Steven: Hi, I'm Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager with Disney Theme Park Merchandise, and I'm excited to share a few updates with you about Sorcerer's of the Magic Kingdom merchandise.


From the blog, our reader Allie asks, “Are you going to sell SOMK-themed merchandise?”


Steven: We have a few options currently in development for merchandise. The softlines team is designing a few tee-shirts. There will also be an official spell card book released. Yet, we have an option for those who want a spell card book now. It is a soft binder that was originally developed for pins yet it can also hold the cards. We sell a few extra pages for the binder as well.




Steven: Speaking of pins, we have two different items coming in late 2012. One will be a mystery pin set based on the villains featured in the game. The second, which is my favorite, is an open edition replica medal pin. The pin's design was based on the medal that Merlin gives in the final scene of the game.




Jenn Fickley-Baker: Sounds like fun! Thanks, Steven.

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Looks like its only for little kids though.


Was at the park yesterday with some family that have youngsters (15, 9, and 5) and they had the queue open in a testing phase. Probably 15 or so people in dress attire watching and interacting with parents sitting along the edges getting feedback and what not. It is definitely better than standing in the old line, but, you are right, it misses an opportunity for things for all ages.


The posted wait for the ride was around 40 minutes, with about 10 minutes of a normal line before you got into the tent. Once inside, you're in a small line as they limit the number in the play structure. The lines sort of crisscross here and it could cause some problems later with careless cast members, but it might just be because of only one of the actual rides being open. Once they give you the pager you're free to roam, or as in the case of the adults and older kids, sit along the wall. There are benches all along the outside edges, but some were hard to come by, especially if you have a large group all looking to sit together. Some groups left their bags and strollers in front of/on top of and staked a claim to seats that they never sat on; only returning to gather their stuff once the pager went off.


The play structure is pretty open, and if you are in certain spots you can see the entirety of it (minus a few walls here and there with the tower on "fire") so you can really see the kids at all times. The posted age limit for the large climbing area was ~3-8 though there were definitely some older kids running around inside of it. There wasn't an enforcer, if you will, but it might be needed once the 2nd spinner opens up and, presumably, more people are allowed into the tent. The little kid play area (those under 3) was just a few low climbing and sitting things, nothing too special, but at that age I doubt they're very sophisticated.


It will be interesting to see if they do allow adults into it at all, especially with some of the climbing areas. There are some large circular stairs that look like trampolines though they're not. They're probably a good 1.5 to 2 feet tall stairs and some of the really little kids had to have mom or dad come to the rescue on the way down.


The group i was with, the little one loved it. She immediately ran around, did it once, and came back asking to go through it again. She didn't understand that this wasn't the "ride," and she could go again, unlike Barnstormer her then favorite ride of the day. The middle in the group went into it as well, he just turned 9 and is pretty small for his age, and had fun at first, but came back to our bench pretty early on stating there wasn't too much to do. The one thing he did want to try had a ton of kids around it and he gave up before getting a turn on it. It was this hanging swing/seat thingy guy in one of the hallways of the play structure. There were only like 3 or 4 in a line, and the majority of the kids sat around that side of the course.


Our pager went off about 25 minutes or so into the tent, and we then resumed waiting in line both inside of the tent for a bit, and then outside of it just before getting onto an elephant. That section of waiting was another 10 or so minutes too. The new Dumbo spinner looks awesome and is very detailed...


The line seems to work, but it really does lack for things of all age. A lot of the adults sitting on the bench were approached and asked about their comments/concerns and even had a small discussion group going for a bit with a couple of the cast members with clip boards, but it seemed that the majority of the complaint was "This is it?" It just seems like a wasted opportunity to not really have things for the entire family. People were definitely asking about carnival games, or interactive games... something for the kids that might be too old/big to go through the play structure. The other major complaint I heard, was that there wasn't any sort of First Aid near by. Kids hurt themselves all of the time, and a little guy got a pretty good scratch/carpet burn it seemed, and the family was told they'd have to go all the way to Casey's Corner for anything to cover it.


Something that also was unexpected, was that letting the little one play for that amount of time seemed to tire her out. This was her 2nd time to Disney without a stroller and after walking as much as we had up to that point, and then playing for roughly 30 minutes straight, she got pretty tired and needed to be carried for a bit. We ended up stopping and getting some ice cream and just sat until she seemed to get her energy back... But, could cause some problems with the crankier kids once they get tired.


She definitely enjoyed it more than the trip last year with the long, hot, wait at the "old' Dumbo. So the whole thing is not bad, I'm not meaning to sound too negative on it, but it just seems as if they didn't go as far as mentioned in all of the earlier press releases.




So its basically a McDonald's playplace with a sitting area for parents? Not the collection of boardwalk games dispersed through the queue as I expected.

after i first heard that they were going to do like boardwalk games to but i think this is a better idea as most of people who go to disney world will have kids and the just can't cater for adults on every thing

and something tells me that it's better than a macdonalds


McDonald's ones have more slides. So if your child likes to climb a lot, Disney's might win. If they like slides that are taller than 5 feet, McDonald's might win out.

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This whole idea of having things to do while in the queue seems to be growing. Pretty good idea for younger kids. To bad they didn't have at least something for everyone. Still, better than waiting in the sun with nothing to do.

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We’re back this week with another inside look at an attraction that’s coming to New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park.



This time, Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) has shared a glimpse inside Maurice’s Cottage, which is the room that welcomes guests to the Enchanted Tales With Belle meet-and-greet experience. Here, guests can explore the tinkerer’s humble cottage and workshop. According to our WDI friends, a few of Maurice’s unique inventions even decorate the place!



What do you think? Which “Beauty and The Beast” experience are you looking forward to most when New Fantasyland opens this holiday season: Enchanted Tales With Belle, the Be Our Guest Restaurant, or Gaston’s Tavern?



*Many of you asked, in the comments section of last week’s post, about openings. Here’s the most updated info we have at this time:

  • July 2012: Both sides of Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Dumbo’s big top tent queue, and Casey Jr. kids’ water-play area
  • Holidays 2012: Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Be Our Guest Restaurant, Gaston’s Tavern, and Ariel’s Grotto.
  • 2013: Princess Fairytale Hall (meet-and-greet area)
  • 2014: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction


Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter for the latest on the New Fantasyland expansion. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #NewFantasyland.




We love a hot order of fries, but these new healthful Magic Kingdom Park sides make us happy – delicious, crunchy veggies that can be paired with some of our favorite vacation bites.


We’re a fan of the Lighthouse Sandwich (hummus and broccoli slaw) and grilled salmon with fresh broccoli at Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square, and now they’ve added fresh broccoli as a side option for any sandwich or entrée. Next time, opt for fresh broccoli to go with the crunchy chicken breast nuggets!


At Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe in Frontierland, try fresh corn on the cob with the Angus burger – and then load up with fresh lettuce, tomato, onions and more at the fixin’s bar. Over in Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café has added a cool, crisp cucumber salad and fresh green beans – the perfect accompaniment to the turkey sandwich or the grilled chicken sandwich. Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant has one of our favorite combos: a decadent lobster roll with a side of roasted veggies.


The new flatbreads at Pinocchio Village Haus are another crowd pleaser, thin-crusted with inventive toppings like the barbecued chicken flatbread with chicken, red onions, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and a mango barbecue sauce. Or the Caprese flatbread with plum tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a blend of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan, balsamic glaze, and fresh basil. Kiddies still love the simple cheese and pepperoni varieties.











No reservations required; these are all quick-service options! Have you tried any and do you have a favorite?

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^ I don't mind paying a little more if it's quality. We used to go to Storytellers at the Grand Californian for lunch because the food was so much better than in the parks for a little bit of a premium. But now they seem to be pushing the quality into the parks as well.

I think people enjoy unique offerings. Hamburgers and pizza are everywhere.

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