Even though Toontown got an extra year beyond its rumored closing last January, it’s finally closing for good in February to make room for the Fantasyland expansion. The last day to visit Toontown and its many attractions will be Feb. 11, 2011. [Read more…]
Guests at the Magic Kingdom may notice a few new construction walls and changes at the park starting today. Disney has begun working in the guest areas as part of the expansion to Fantasyland Forest and a Pixie Hollow area.
We’ve previously reported on Disney’s plan to double the size of Fantasyland in our Winter 2010 issue and online. While work has been ongoing behind the scenes, today marks the first real sign of any changes in the guest areas.
Disney has begun work on a construction wall that will run from the Fantasyland Pavilion area to the entrance area of Toontown.
Pooh’s Playful Spot playground, Ariel’s Grotto and Scuttle’s Landing snack stand are now closed.
For now, Ariel will not be doing meet and greets, but she can be seen in the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade and SpectroMagic at Magic Kingdom as well as the Voyage of The Little Mermaid show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ariel will have a new grotto greeting location once that part of the expansion is complete. A ride called “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” will also be part of the expansion.
Until May 9, guests can meet Winnie The Pooh and his friends next to the train station in Toontown. After that, Pooh and Tigger will be greeting guests in Town Square.
Taking the place of Scuttle’s Landing, Enchanted Grove will now be selling coffee and muffins during Extra Magic Hour mornings.
The first part of the project is expected to be complete in 2012 with the Pixie Hollow area to follow in 2013.
Here’s the video of the Fantasyland expansion announcement at last year’s D23 Expo.
This photo of a large model of the expanded part of Fantasyland has been appearing around the Internet this past week. It’s a bit different from the originally leaked blueprints of the redone Fantasyland at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. The Pixie Hollow area has been moved back a bit and the Dumbo ride has been moved to just before the current Barnstormer ride. The blueprint also shows a pooh meet and greet area, which isn’t clearly marked in the model.
Neither the blueprint or this photo of the model were officially released by Disney, so there’s no way to tell which is the newer design, but logic says it’s the model. The model also fits along with the officially released concept art, which can be seen in the video below.
• For more on Disney’s plans for Fantasyland, be sure to get a copy of the Winter 2010 issue of Orlando Attractions Magazine.
Our YouTube channel was a popular place in 2009. We reached more than a million views for a couple of our older videos, while others lay dormant for reasons unknown to us. Sometimes we think a video is going to be a huge hit and it flops, and sometimes we wonder why we’re bothering to record something and it turns out to be very popular. Other times a video won’t be popular for weeks and weeks, then all of the sudden the view count shoots up. But for whatever reasons, here are the top 10 viewed videos we posted in 2009. We’ll start at number 10.
A full ride on SeaWorld’s new Manta roller coaster – 99,000+ views
Club Penguin Rockhopper and Blue Penguin at Walt Disney World – 120,000+ views
Halloween Horror Nights 19 2009 Opening Night Scare Zones – 130,000+ views
Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow at the Disney D23 Expo – 131,000+ views
Epcot Flower & Garden Festival 2009 with Disney Fairies – 132,000+ views
David Cook Sings at Walt Disney World’s American Idol – 135,000+ views
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit coaster POV from Universal Studios – 306,000+ views
American Idol Kris Allen sings “Heartless” at Disney World – 388,000+ views
Dance-Off with the Star War Stars 2009 – Hyperspace Hoopla – 408,000+ views
David Cook and Carrie Underwood Duet at Walt Disney World – 820,000+ views
As we said in our Top 10 Blog Posts of 2009 story, some videos have obviously been online longer than others, so here’s our honorable mentions:
Manta Opening SeaWorld Orlando – Views, Interviews, & Queue – 80,000+ views
Star Wars Weekends 2009 Parade at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 22, Opening Day – 78,000+ views
Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit at Universal Studios Now Open – 77,000+ views
Disney World Fantasyland expansion announcement & makeover concept art – 66,000+ views
Disney Hall of Presidents update with Obama animatronic – 60,000+ views
A lot has happened in the Orlando area theme parks in 2009. Some new attractions were announced, some have closed down and some have opened up. One both opened and closed in 2009 (we’re talking about you Stitch.) Below are the top 10 most read blog posts on our site during 2009. Below the top 10 are some honorable mentions. Let’s count them down.
It’s hard to tell which stories are really the most popular during a year since a story posted in January obviously has been online longer than one posted in December. So here are three we feel are worthy of an honorable mention.
Concept art for The Sum of All Thrills, coming soon to Epcot’s Innoventions