Matt Paul’s 3/20-3/21/09 WDW Photo Report

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WDWNT videographer and photographer Matt Paul spent last weekend visiting the Walt Disney World Resort and reports back to us with an amazing amount of newsworthy photos to share:

Let’s go there!

Closer…

“Celebrate Today!” decorations on the Monorails.

“Celebrate Today!” decorations also on the busses.

An old location for Guest Relations sits dormant outside the park.

The windows still feature the original Epcot Center logo.

“Celebrate Today!” banners near the entrance

Welcome to Epcot

As part of the environmentality program, recycling bins are now being placed next to all trash cans at the Resort

It looks like they re-paved this little section before the turnstiles

You can celebrate your birthday at Epcot with free admission

Let’s see how many times we can say celebrate in one report…

The Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom now

Most of the pieces from this scene were moved to Epcot from Hollywood Studios for the Flower and Garden Festival

This screen is in need of an update

Never seen that sign before…

Topiaries of Ben Ali Gator and Hyacinth Hippo from the Dance of the Hours sequence in Fantasia

The Fountain of Nations is finally out from construction walls.

Celebrate with big balloons inside MouseGear

The Jamitors have received a little face-lift for the Flower and Garden Festival

Big flowers and long waits describe last weekend

Stitch appropriately by Mission Space

The Universe of Energy re-opens from refurbishment later this week

Now let’s take a tour of Garden Town.

Information kiosk at the entrance to Garden Town.

The Festival Guide.

A map of Garden Town.

A seminar from the University of Florida.

Festival merchandise.

A cool springtime Figment plush that has been out for a few weeks now

Not much remains of the Body Wars attraction

This sign still remains, apart from being whited-out.

Mickey welcomes you to Garden Town.

In the former Making of Me theater, is The Making of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival video.

A display for Disney Nature’s “Earth”

The Disneynature “Castle”.

It features a display on the other side of it

American Idol Experience merchandise on sale at Club Cool

This may substantiate rumors that Coca-Cola sponsored the attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

The Epcot timeline still remains outside of the former Epcot 25th anniversary gallery

The closed door to the former gallery that now holds Segway vehicles

A new ramp for ducks in Future World

We’re now joining in with other Disney fan-sites in posting duck photos

Flowers are certainly in bloom at Epcot in the Spring.

Do I see what I think I see?

People at the Imagination pavilion?

Matt says that Journey Into Imagination with Figment had a 20 minute wait on Friday

Gardens near Imagination!

Contrary to some rumors, the Fountain of Nations stage remains.

However it does look quite broken up.

Minnie’s Butterfly Garden is presented by Disney Nature’s Earth.

This sign explains exactly what Disney Nature is.

The Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure was down most of Friday

This hat reminds me of Kyle Duffield on the Disneyland News Today Podcast

The waterfall at the Canada pavilion is up and running again

The oddest choice of topiaries for the festival has to be these perfume bottles in France

He seemed interested in Belle, but I think he then saw the Beast…

Davy Jones kicks off the Flower Power concert series this year

Set-up for the concert that night

Is it a secret if you tell everyone?

Someone must have lost to a villain…

A Dragon topiary in China

Tarps up in China as usual

Construction walls as well

Very cool posters at the Kim Possible Recruitment Center on the World Showcase bridge

Now we move over to Fort Wilderness where there is a refurbishment of the pool area in progress

There is another strange refurbishment going on over here as well

The Tri-Circle D Ranch

Hi there!

Bay Lake Tower looks great from Bay Lake

The main feature pool is open at the Contemporary while some work goes on around it

A new series of signs in the Grand Canyon Concourse for the Outer Rim Bar, Chef Mickey’s, and Contempo Cafe

“Celebrate Today!” at the Polynesian Resort

My personal favorite, the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

The Year of a Million Dreams banner is finally gone!

Something doesn’t fit here…

The end of the dock at the Grand Floridian appears to be closed

Has this roof at the Polynesian been re-painted?

A look over at the Magic Kingdom

An awesome “Celebrate Today!” shop window on Main Street U.S.A.

Now onto Saturday, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Toy Story Mania billboard is once again up at the entrance to the park

These signs at are at each park’s ticket booths, and are customized to each individual park

The new Hollywood Studios map that debuted with The American Idol Experience back in February

The Sorcerer’s Hat’s looks fantastic!

“Up” billboard.

I’m sorry we had to put this photo up…

but this “Bolt” billboard should make up for it.

Rumors suggest that Mr. Spell may soon be “talking” to guests walking by

The Mickey Avenue sign has returned outside Journey into Narnia

Mickey Avenue still seems to be at the park, just much smaller thanks to Pixar Place

Pixar Place sign

A Green Army Man signing hollow cardboard in Pixar Place

Soundstage 1 awaits its next production, rumored to be a suspended Monsters Inc. roller coaster

The Studio Backlot Tour is still closed to remove the live speaker and add an automated spiel

You can see some of the trams parked at the loading/unloading area

Auditions being held at The American Idol Experience.

New lights inside the Sorcerer’s Hat as well

An American Idol Experience merchandise cart has been added to the central hub of the park

Goofy portrays Randy Jackson in this shirt

The American Idol Experience performs every hour on the hour from 11am to 7pm, except for 3pm, when Block Party Bash is shown

The backside of Keystone Clothiers under tarps again

The returning plaque awaits the 20th Anniversary on May 1st

Construction walls outside Sunset Club Couture

Fairfax fries is closed to remove McDonald’s

You can visit Rosie’s while it is closed

Watch out!!!!

The Drew Carrey billboard on the top of Sounds Dangerous is gone and the electronic board is off

Don’t expect it to ever operate again either

According to Disney: Achieve performance excellence in the only all-Disney-produced competitive music festival. When you own the Disney stage, you own the world. Join Festival Disney and give your talented ensemble the chance to compete with instrumental, choral and auxiliary groups from schools across the country.

Now it’s time to leave the glistening gold of Hollywood…

and enter Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the first time in ages here on WDWNT!

Animal Kingdom is not left out of the celebration

Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends is still listed on the Entertainment board, even though it has not performed in 6 months

The theater is still pretty much in-tact.

A really long line for Kilimanjaro Safaris Fastpass return

Walt Disney World’s least talked about parade is definitely the underrated Mickey’s Jamin’ Jungle Parade, so here are a selection of Matt’s parade photos


Finding Nemo quotes in the line for Finding Nemo: The Musical

“In the big blue world!”

No longer made a possible by Mcdonald’s Corporation

Now back to the Magic Kingdom

The walls at Exposition Hall have become an impromptu stroller parking area

Hula hoops for pre-parade entertainment and fun come on a new cart

“What will you celebrate?”

An exterior refurbishment is now taking place on the Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe

The Hall of Presidents facade still under tarps

Even though they built a new Liberty Square Bridge, it always seems to be under refurbishment

The Diamond Horseshoe still has a few tarps up as well

They are on the side of the building

A small construction wall up near the Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland

Night is approaching

The Tomorrowland rocks are still being worked on.

The walls around the ex-Galaxy Palace Theater have come down revealing a new character meet ‘n’ greet area.

Not completely finished yet though

Construction on the Stitch’s SuperSonic Celebration stage continues

The control booth is just about finished

This entrance area may look very different come November

The Village Fry Shoppe is still open, but probably not for long

This is the last place in the parks to get McDonald’s food

Wishes! from Fantasyland

“What they can’t do these days!”

We end Matt’s gigantic report with the three new signs at the Contemporary in the evening after Wishes!

Thanks for your report Matt!

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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