While I’m certainly not happy about it, I’m back from Walt Disney World after 8 days, 4 parks, and 1 WDWCelebrations.com World Wide Weekend event that I will never forget. It was another great success for the teams (both WDWCelebrations and WDW News Today) and here are some pictures taken, in chronological order, by WDWNT of the spectacular World Wide Weekend event and some current events from around the Walt Disney World Resort:
While the remainder of the team was on the special Backstage Magic tour Thursday, WDWNT met up with Chris Lastrapes of Disneyland News Today and Jose Castillo of WDW News Today for a day at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
After ten years, the Frontierland Fry Cart is a thing of the past. All of the other McDonald’s locations are still operating at this time
Chris could not believe how ugly the Leave A Legacy structures were up close
That evening, most of the team met up to dine at the freshly-refurbished Nine Dragons restaurant over in the China pavilion of World Showcase.
The restaurant is looking spectacular
The waiting area looks fantastic, including this very cool item on the new glass wall murals
The mural changes colors every few minutes
From left to right: Tom Corless, Jose Castillo, Some Random Person, Adam Roth and Jason Diffendal waiting to be seated at the revamped restaurant
The restaurant feels more inviting now, with splashes of color to go along with the elegant architecture
Here is the updated menu, you can click it for a larger version so you can read it
Here is the selection of beverages on the back
Jason and I split the Pot Stickers for an appetizer, they were excellent
Adam had the egg-rolls
Jason enjoys a fine alcoholic beverage
Well, if you ever wondered if those people that do the WDW News Today Podcast really are THAT crazy, the payment type Chris Lastrapes chose should give you your answer….
Adam was pleased to begin the main events for the weekend at Downtown Disney
Jackie Steele led the first history walk of Pleasure Island
Who could this shirt have belonged to???
As we wrapped up the events at PI, we were lucky enough to win some Dream Mouse Ears
The WDWCelebrations team then assembled for lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, the Grand Floridian Cafe.
“If you’re wearing white, follow me into the restaurant!!!”
“How many of you are there?”
If you looking for a great place to grab lunch without an ADR, this is the place
Here we all are enjoying cookies from the little chefs at the Grand Floridian with our server Kevin
We are a sad group…
Here’s a look at some of the offerings at the Grand Floridian Cafe
The railings on the second level of the Grand Floridian are being replaced
Friday’s World Wide Weekend Magic Kingdom events started with a group showing of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress. I was singing the loudest
Exterior work taking place on Pinnochio’s Village Haus
While we had some free time Friday evening, we decided to check out the room models for the upcoming Bay Lake Tower Disney Vacation Club Resort at Saratoga Springs
Let’s head inside, shall we
That evening, we all attended the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom
Jason and I decided to get a picture with Bullseye since he was all alone
We got a great group photo with one of the live entertainment groups out at the party
Adam, Jason, Jose, Edward (a friend of Jose), Chris, and myself decided to get a photo in front of the Main Street Station before we left for the evening
In what felt like a flashback to Celebration 25, WDWCelebrations was able to set-up some sign-in tables at Epcot on Saturday morning.
Plenty of free goods from WDWCelebrations and its sponsors were given out, including some very stylish WDW News Today pens
One of the games at Project Tomorrow was not working all that well on Saturday morning…
The Japan pavilion is once again under tarps for painting.
WDWNT decided to visit Pleasure Island during its final hours on Saturday evening
What better place to be for that final night than the Adventurer’s Club
Plenty of patrons showed up to wish the clubs farewell that evening.
The World Wide Weekend moved over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Sunday afternoon
A large billboard now appears where the old supports for the Sorcery in the Sky show once stood
As Jose reported a few days ago, the “Jim Henson’s” sign is now missing from Muppetvision, while the hot air balloon has returned
After seeing Muppetvision 3-D, the group took a ride on Star Tours
Work continues on the American Idol Experience, now opening during Spring Break 2009
Some trees have been planted outside the Playhouse Disney theater, really strange…
Three of the Sunset Boulevard shops will be returning in November with a new look and merchandise selection
The walls near Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster have come down to reveal a very different looking seating area
Upon arriving at Epcot on Monday morning, we noticed some new signage before you enter the Innoventions’ breezeways
Since the exhibit is most likely done for, we decided to take one long look at the timeline of Epcot’s history outside the now-sealed doors
Inside Mousegear, you can see just a sampling of the huge amount of new “Four Parks, One World” merchandise that will be offered over the next year.
We also popped in at the Contemporary to check on the construction going on throughout the resort hotel
The bridge that will connect the Bay Lake Tower to the Grand Canyon Concourse is shaping up nicely
A new quick service location next to Chef Mickey’s is currently under construction
Painting continues on the ceiling of the main building
The elevator has been painted as well
A nice look at the often forgotten other side of Bay Lake Tower
After Jose headed back home Monday afternoon, John and I went to the Magic Kingdom where the parade had everyone excited
The small ships were missing from this sign in Adventureland
The Country Bear Jamboree is closed for refurbishment
Some awesome new mouse-ear hats were for sale in Mickey’s Star Traders
Something big smashed into the bottom of the TTA track and left quite a mark
On Tuesday morning, John and I went to get in some rides on Toy Story Midway Mania, as I tried to reclaim my place with the all-time high score. Mr. Potato Head was having problems holding on to his ear.
I was having a pretty good day on the ride, but still not close to my 286,600 all-time high score.
They have begun priming the tower for some signage over at the American Idol Experience
Work continued on Tuesday over at the Sunset Blvd. shops. I think the stairs would be quicker….
The queue for Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster has been filled with framed t-shirts. Why? Hanes sponsorship.
The new Cars meet-and-greet is complete and looks really good
They’re not done with it just yet, as the Radiator Springs mural is being placed right next door.
Great detail all around this area
The final Super Soap Weekend at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is coming up in November
I believe this is the first of the bursting shirts to feature Pixar characters
On Tuesday afternoon, we headed over to Animal Kingdom to see the remains of Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends
Signage remains for the show
Still untouched, not quite sure how long it will just be sitting there
Inside Innoventions, the map stations have been updated with the new logo and updated maps
The Food & Wine festival display on the way to World Showcase
Behind the walls, you can have a better look at the new color scheme being applied to one of those strange structures between future world and world showcase
They have added some displays inside Don’t Waste It inside Innoventions to make sure guests take their garbage trucks the right way
We still could not believe that the exhibit was closed on Tuesday
Keeping with my tradition from the previous 69 trips I have made to WDW, John and I spent the last day of the vacation at the Magic Kingdom. We found this fantastic retro Frontierland shirt being offered as part of a brand new line of merchandise.
This is part of the Magic Kingdom 1971 Collection, a new line of merchandise we will be seeing a lot of over the next year or so
The back of the new T-shirt
Work on the Swiss Family Treehouse continues through the 3rd of October
Be sure to stay tuned to WDW News Today as I will be putting up my photos from the trip tomorrow at some point. See ya real soon!!!
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