Disney’s Honorary VoluntEARS Cavalcade (beginning Jan. 8) – Each afternoon just before the daily parade at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom (and at Disneyland Park in California), Muppets characters and parade dancers will join special floats and vehicles celebrating volunteerism and presenting Honorary VoluntEARS serving as Grand Marshals of the parades. Kermit, Miss Piggy and Sweetums will be part of the merriment, while the dancers will be donning outfits that celebrate the work of volunteers.
Work on the Fantasyland Expansion at the Magic Kingdom will begin in 2010. We have also heard that The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction will go down for refurbishment in early 2010 to change it’s facade and a few other items, the Walt Disney World Railroad will close for 2-3 months in 2010 to make way for groundbreaking backstage, and Mickey’s Toontown Fair will most likely close permanently in the Fall. Information released today:
Fantasyland expansion – An early-2010 groundbreaking will mark the beginning of a three-year construction project that will result in a vastly expanded Magic Kingdom Fantasyland.
Wide World of Sports will finally get it’s name change:
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex relaunch (February 2010) – A re-imagining project involving ESPN and the Disney sports complex, the leading multi-sport venue in the nation, aims to create immersive and entertaining sports experiences for athletes, coaches and fans by incorporating signature elements of ESPN in ways that will connect athletes and coaches with their favorite ESPN programs, personalities and elements. Guests will discover a new welcome center, a digital center where video captured by 44 cameras across the 220-acre sports campus is edited for display on 40 video screens and two “jumbotrons” throughout the complex as part of a veritable “Wide World of SportsCenter,” and the new ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, technical staff will continue work in the Innovation Lab to develop ground-breaking ESPN on-air products – using the action throughout the complex as a real-world testing environment.
Beyond the press releases from today, there are a number of interesting attraction refurbishments already announced for 2010. Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom is rumored to receive lap bars for each log during it’s 1/3-2/27/10 refurbishment, Epcot’s Test Track is closed 1/11-1/17/10 and Living with the Land is closed 1/18-2/5/10 (both for unknown reasons), and the latest surprise has been the announcement that both the Studio Backlot Tour and the Studio Catering Co. at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closed for refurbishment from 2/15-3/28/10. Stay tuned for more details on all of these refurbishments as they become available.