Disney revealed an inside look at some of the new interactive queue elements that will be coming soon to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The goal is expose the guests to more of the back story of the original mining company including the office, the explosives room and the ventilation room.
As I told you in recent posts, tomorrow, February 21, 2013, will be Periwinkle’s last day at Tinker Bell’s Nook in Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom. If you wish to say goodbye, or see you later if she returns in the winter, be sure to stop by tomorrow. Rosetta should be the regular pixie that will meet along side Tinker Bell in the Nook for the foreseeable future. There could be some random appearances by Terance, but don’t count on that for your schedule!
Disney is continuing its plans to recreate all the dresses that the Princesses wear in the theme parks. The trend began with Cinderella receiving a new look for her meet and greets. On or about February 3, 2013 Belle will receive a new gold ball gown, hairstyle and accouterments. She typically only wears the gold dress at Enchanted Tales with Belle, so it would be my guess that this would be the only location to see her in this new outfit.
The title isn’t meant as an insult, but to point to the importance of this attraction in your touring plan. Dumbo used to the the number 1 attraction on most guests lists to avoid long lines. Dumbo now offers FASTPASS, so it’s a much lower priority despite long lines in busy seasons. Enchanted Tales with Belle (Contes enchantés avec belle) has become the new go-to attraction in the Magic Kingdom. The lines for ETWB during the Christmas season have regularly been 90-150 minutes long. That’s 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours to wait for one attraction! Within a few minutes of park opening the line has been completely filled with guests eager to see this attraction. It’s kind of like the Rapunzel Run, only worse. The lines for ETWB often compete with Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight for the highest wait times in the park, but ETWB does not offer FASTPASS of any kind at this time.
You may recall that I recently posted that Pinocchio is strongly rumored to return to the Magic Kingdom very soon. Well, I was poking around the new Disney World website and found the page that had this information. Why the website builder continues to use such random photos with descriptions is strange to me, but the info is clearly there that Pinocchio will soon return to Fantasyland. Some may say that this is left over info from last year, but this is a totally new website and Pinocchio was retired from Main Street and the map clearly points to his meeting at Pinocchio Village Haus. The description also describes it as “A charming village NEAR THE WALLS of Cinderella Castle is home to a LITTLE WOODEN BOY.” The walls didn’t exist when Pinocchio was retired and there’s only one little wooden boy. Looks like we’ll be seeing Pinocchio soon.
There is a strong rumor, that seems to have real merit, that Pinocchio is returning to the Magic Kingdom soon. It is said that he will offer regular meet and greets near the Pinocchio’s Village Haus Restaurant. It’s ironic that he stopped meeting regularly when Rapunzel moved into the Fairytale Garden and there is a rumor still circulating that Merida will be retired soon. Perhaps Pinocchio regains his spot in the Magic Kingdom rotation with Merida’s departure that is rumored to be around the beginning of next year? I’d say the Pinocchio rumor has a 90-100% probability.
Update 12/4 – The Giggle Gang made their debut today. You’ll find them on the left hand side of the entry as you enter Storybook Circus. Reports are that guests have really enjoyed their shows. Times are publicly released at this time, but I’ll find them for you soon
The Storybook Circus Giggle Gang are set to make their debut in Storybook Circus this week at the Magic Kingdom with the Grand Opening of New Fantasyland. Walt Disney would be proud! He loved circuses and clowns. He even tried a couple of times to successfully incorporate a circus into Disneyland. The new Giggle Gang are intended to be a whacky troupe for the purposes of laughter.
The leader of the Giggle Gang is Chuckles Buffoon McMonkeyshine III who will, “keep his audience enthralled with amazing feats of thrills, chills and hilarity.” His sidekicks are Whinny Horselaugh and Snort. The clowns will be accompanied by the Silly Saxtet which is a new Saxophone group that really is the Fantasyland Saxophone players in a new costumes and location.
Several members of the Giggle Gang were actually trained by the reknowned Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.
I’m not sure who is excited about the “Grand Opening” of New Fantasyland at this point because some elements have been available for weeks or even months. Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to see the amazing new areas, I’m not negating that. However, I would AVOID the MAGIC KINGDOM at all costs on December 6 just because many people will attend just for the “Grand Opening”. Many people will want to be in the Park on the 6th for the “Grand Opening” and it’s an Extra Magic Hour day which automatically increases crowd sizes. Park operations will change dramatically for the two days of this event. If you can visit the Magic Kingdom December 7th or after, do so. Operations will return to normal and lines will as well. Disney is stating that New Fantasyland is closed on December 5th and that it will be open at 8:00am for Extra Magic Hours on the 6th.
Crowds may be lighter than normal on December 5th, but some things are closed and others close early.
Here’s some of what you can expect those days.
- Magic Kingdom operating hours are from 9:00-7:00
- The Enchanted Forest area closed to guests all day.
- Storybook Circus will only be open from 9:00-3:00
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic will be CLOSED.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the Carrousel will only be open from 9:00-6:00
- Wishes will be offered at 6:00pm. (Great view of this early show from the Polynesian beach!)
- Magic Kingdom operating hours are from 9:00-7:00 (8:00 am opening for Resort Guests with Extra Magic Hours priveledges, creating a bigger unnecessary mess).
- Grand Opening Ceremony to be held on the Castle Stage at 10:00am.
- Be Our Guest Restaurant will be CLOSED ALL DAY
- The Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus are said to open for guests at 8am for morning Extra Magic Hours.
- Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is 7:00pm to 12:00am (Could this party become a sell out?)
Beast used to meet regularly in Epcot. Some sets were solo, some were together with Belle, like the meet above. There was a great demand for Beast in Epcot. The lines were usually so long that the meet was closed long before Beast even appeared. The Cast Members would often form a second line of people willing to meet only Belle and often Belle would walk the line pre-signing autograph books to accommodate the long line and help it move quickly. Some guests even planned their day in Epcot around meeting Beast. Beast was unceremoniously retired from regular in-park meet and greets.
I had mentioned rumors for several months that Beast would leave Epcot in order to move to meeting ONLY dinner guests at the new Be Our Guest Restaurant that wouldn’t open until today (November 19, 2012). One would be required to have a dinner reservation in order to take a quick photo with Beast.
Beast – I’ve been hearing chatter that Beast may appear for photo opportunity during dinner ONLY. Beast would not be moving table to table, but he would have a stationary location somewhere in the general dining area. It wouldn’t be billed as “character dining.”
In July Belle and Beast met totally exclusive of one another for a short time as a test to gauge guest reaction.
Belle and Beast did break up from meeting one another. Beast left Epcot and Belle only offers regular meets in Epcot along with Enchanted Tales with Belle in the Magic Kingdom which is not a regular meet and greet. Gaston even moved into the New Fantasyland area.
Recently, the Disney Blog offered a meet-up that hosted a number of prominent bloggers, as well as other guests. During the meet-up, the host explained that “We are saying that this character appearance is a special appearance. It’s only for the Blog meet-up tonight.” Of course, all the kind and loyal fans and bloggers accepted that this meant that Beast would not be meeting guests before dinner after all.
Well, when the first “Official” dinner guests with Advance Reservations, not merely those in previews, arrived tonight they found…BEAST meeting guests after dinner! Confusing? Deceptive? Attempting to keep a “surprise” that everyone knew about for months?
I had been able to confirm that Beast would offer a photo-op with dinner guests on many fronts. Daily CMs, those with an understanding of the budgets etc… All would agree that Beast was a definite. Then there was that odd announcement that certainly sounded like Beast wouldn’t be there after all, which left me saying, “Huh, what?” So, I remained silent on the matter.
Well, Beast IS meeting every night after dinner at Be Our Guest restaurant. He’ll offer a brief, yet organized photo op for any willing family/guest inside the restaurant. They will ask that you try to take your photo as a group in order to keep the process moving quickly and not create a backlog or wait line. He does not meet outside the restaurant. The photo op is ONLY for those eating dinner at the restaurant. It isn’t a traditional meet and greet where the character moves from table to table either.
Beast is meeting guests at his new restaurant…SURPRISE!!!
The other day I told you that New Fantasyland is receiving two new entertainment acts: The Storybook Circus Giggle Gang and The Royal Majesty Makers. Disney has released the following information about the The Royal Majesty Makers:
The Royal Majesty Makers engage boys and girls in random acts of “royaldom,” endowing them with the skills to become princes and princesses. These royal consultants, official ambassadors of Cinderella’s court, inspire and delight visiting villagers with magical moments throughout the land.
Led by retired knight Sir Sterling and royal etiquette expert Lady Llewellyn, the Royal Majesty Makers also include squire extraordinaire Tobias and flirtatious lady-in-waiting Bridget. They may be found in the Castle Courtyard, conducting Knight School, delivering invitations to a royal ball, leading royal dances or even playing a game of “Sir Sterling Says.”
“With the opening of New Fantasyland, we’re excited to introduce several new atmosphere groups that will become part of the storytelling experience you’ll find there,” said Creative Director Reed Jones. “They’re going to bring the neighborhoods of the land to life in really fun ways.”