Disney News on Parade: Magic Kingdom, Disney Springs & More
News for February 29th, 2020
Happy Leap Year! We have photos and insights from both Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs. But we also have some big news to cover first.
Half of All Disney Resorts Closed World Wide–Paris Next?
We reported recently that Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disneyland was closed because of Coronavirus. Now Tokyo Disneyland has announced that it too will close for the virus, at least until March 15th. This is not great timing for the resort, as it’s looking to open a massive addition to Tokyo Disneyland on April 15th.
There is also news that the French have stated that all public spaces accommodating more than 5,000 at a time also be closed. Disney has not yet responded to that request, but that even if Disneyland Paris stays open, the sentiment is that most people are not going to want to venture out into public spaces.
All that said and done, life and health are more important than theme parks. Our hearts and prayers are for everyone not just in these countries, but throughout the world who are grasping to try to understand the spread of this potential pandemic. Hopefully spread can be slowed down and solutions can be found.
New Disney CEO
This week it was announced that Bob Iger was stepping down from his position as CEO immediately and that Bob Chapek, 60, who currently serves as head of the theme park division would take over. We have a complete post and podcast on this. Check it out!
Also, on my video for Disney News on Parade this week, I discuss these changes and more being made. Take a look.
Let’s step through Disney Springs and touch base with several happenings going on there.
As I mention in the video, we were at D-Luxe Burger for Breakfast. There were several options to check out. Better yet, no line! Here’s a chicken biscuit that I had for breakfast:
The biscuit looked great with its sweet honey coating. It was a little small for the chicken which was big and flavorful. The pickles were an interesting touch, but I think a slaw would have been a better choice. Still, it was worth trying out.
I love Disney Springs early in the morning with no crowds. Everything looks clean and tidy for the new day.
Under Armour was temporarily closed out of an abundance of caution after a co-worker associated with the store shot and killed another former co-worker at the International Premium Outlet store. That individual has since been found dead, and all stores have since re-opened.
Still, the store was open ahead of others and there was a small team of employees exercising and getting ready for the day. Good for them! I think guests could have stepped in and joined them. They were intense in their dance moves.
Disney Pixar’s Onward is slated to open on March 6th. There was a preview showing today at Disney Springs.
As part of the promotion, Disney-Pixar has sent a van around the country on a 17 stop tour promoting the film. I asked the guy driving the van whether the van just looked like it did, and that it really was a well-functioning vehicle. Admittedly, he acknowledged the vehicle really didn’t drive much better than it looked.
Beatrix is under construction across from AMC. It occupies the former Bongos restaurant. It is barely starting to go vertical. The new Jaleo is in the background.
Across the way and adjacent to AMC is a new Ample Hills Creamery under construction. A trip we made there to its Boardwalk location a few weeks ago reminded us how really good this ice cream is. It will be tough deciding between the healthy choices at Beatrix and simply heading toward Ample Hills. As Ursula says, Life is full of tough choices, isn’t it!
On a future opportunity we’ll review the new City Works Eatery found to the left of the picture below. Meanwhile our focus is on the Cirque du Soleil show adjacent.
This week the Cirque team has entered the show building and is starting rehearsals in their new venue. Disney released a video, and I have to say, I’m pumped for this show. It looks really exciting. Check it out.
It’s on to the Magic Kingdom where a few things are happening as well. The big news recently was released imagery of how Cinderella Castle will appear during the 50th anniversary. Do you love it?
Construction is already slowly getting started on this makeover. But there’s more to cover, even before you get into the park. Way out in the parking lot are numerous changes to add additional parking–all in preparation for the 50th anniversary.
New tracks are being laid down for the railway for the segment between Space Mountain and Main Street U.S.A. train station. Also the surrounding area has been re-scalloped.
Just as changes continue at the TTC, so they also continue in the front of Magic Kingdom.
While the train tracks are being repaired and construction is occurring at Tron, the Lilly Belle is on display at the Storybook Circus location. Come check it out.
Here are some very cool details, inside…
Here is Suzy and Perla making appearances where the Fairy Godmother is usually on hand. My guess is that they fill in days when the Fairy Godmother can’t make appearances. Always love to see characters you don’t see every day.
The classic attraction, “it’s a small world”, is being remodeled, but only on the outside. The attraction is still operating on the inside, so don’t miss it.
So many details that create the Disney Show. We talk about that in our post/podcast this last week. Check out this video that overviews just one of those details at the Tangled break area:
Hopefully that gives you a taste of our new post and podcast on Show, as one of the Four Keys of Disney. It’s over at DisneyatWork.com. Check it out!
Moving on, Splash Mountain has re-opened after a multi-month rehab, typical for this time of year.
More surprising is the Golden Oak Outpost being re-opened. Even during peak times I’ve seen this venue closed. Currently it’s offering Chicken Nuggets, Chili-Cheese Waffle Fries, Loaded Waffle Fries, and even Loaded Onion Rings. Hmmm.
Next door we see that the Pirate Adventure interactive game is open. I always assumed it to be, but was surprised when passing by a few weeks ago and finding it closed.
Speaking of closing, Pirates League will be shutting their doors on July 27th. I’m not their target audience, but I thought it was a creative use of the space, and I thought the theming was very impressive. Have you done it? Have you visited the secret chamber? I hope they don’t lose all of that story and theming. It could make a great meet ‘n’ greet experience as well. We’ll see what happens.
On our way out the door we pass by the area adjacent to the First Aid location in Magic Kingdom. Operations is putting a more thematic exit for handling guests as they depart after the fireworks. I appreciate that attention to detail, but I would appreciate them focusing on better handling guests after they leave the park at the end of the evening. When you close at 9 or 10, and the fireworks are just prior, the crush of people outside the gates trying to leave makes the Magic Kingdom feel more like the Tragic Kingdom.
That’s it for this week. We promise more of the Studios and Epcot on our next review. Meanwhile, let us mention the best kept secret at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. It’s the Complete Guide to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. We have the most complete coverage and details with hundreds of photos, videos and interactive maps. It’s complimentary when you subscribe to our newsletter. Check it out today!