4.5 Hour Wait for Anna and Elsa! Plus, Other News Stories and Dozens of Photos From WDW

4.5 Hour Wait for Anna and Elsa! Plus, Other News Stories and Dozens of Photos From WDW.

Magic Kingdom:

There is an exciting revelation of the new 7 Dwarfs Mine Ride with a good portion of the construction walls removed today. This ride looks awesome! There is a waterfall, large rocks, trees, and we see a good portion of the track.  This ride is really going to be a stunning show from every angle.  Take a look at all the photos below to see what I am seeing.  It is getting closer folks. I am thinking late next month maybe, just my personal guess. Disney is still officially saying “Spring 2014”.

 The Festival of Fantasy Parade is due to debut March 2014.  With over 100 cast members in the parade, original parade musical score, favorite Disney characters both classic and new, dancing, stilts, all new floats give us something grand to look forward to.  Practices have been going on behind the scenes so everyone will be ready to perform when the parade steps off.  Disney has revealed some information as the creating of the parade has progressed.  We know there will be a Princess Garden float to start off the show holding Cinderella, Belle, Tiana, their Princes, and recently added Anna and Elsa from Frozen.  A Tangled theme float represented in a sailing ship will feature Rapunzel and Flynn Rider and some of the “dreamers”.  Peter Pan and Wendy will be soaring above us as the Jolly Roger float glides by us- perhaps some of that Pixie Dust will fall on you! Expect to see Tinker Bell, Captain Hook and the Lost Boys as well.  A favorite Villainess, Maleficent, will appear as a steam punk version of a dragon and Prince Phillip will be battling her in a ground-breaking float experience for a Disney parade. Brave’s Merida will be atop a giant bagpipe with her little brothers nearby and ushered in with Scottish dancers.  Ariel from the Little Mermaid joins the cast of about a dozen fairytales played out before us through the floats and beautifully choreographed dancing.  The costumes have been crafted from ten design houses across the United States and beyond. They are colorful, extravagant and quite fanciful.  We can expect nine different floats. The finale will be quite a collection of characters including Dumbo, Pluto, Mad Hatter, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and of course Mickey and Minnie in their own Airship.  This promises to be a great parade!

New Pirate Fairy Zarina making her debut on April 1 in the newest Fairy direct to DVD movie. Tinker Bell is in the movie along with the Fairies you are used to seeing in these movies. Notably Tom Hiddleston will be the voice of Captain James Hook and Christina Hendricks is the voice of Zarina the red headed Pirate Fairy. Natasha Bedingfield sings her original song “Who I Am” on the movie’s soundtrack. Zarina is expected to join Tinker bell at Tinker Bell’s Magical Nook found in Adventureland next to Aloha Isle.  With the release of previous Fairy movies Pixie Hollow took on a different presence so I hope that Zarina will be coming to Adventureland this spring.

On a sad note, PUSH the talking trashcan that has been delighting guests in Tomorrowland of the Magic Kingdom is retired.  I remember the first time I saw PUSH. It was our last day at Walt Disney World and I was pretty unhappy about that.  PUSH rolled into our area and made our last day our favorite day of the trip.  Who would have thought of a trashcan as being so engaging and hilarious! I have watched the social networking trying to stop this removal of PUSH from happening, but, it has nonetheless.  I have not looked at a trash can the same since that first meeting with PUSH. I hope that his creator is able to read a lot of these posts about how much his special performance art has come to mean to so many of us who frequent  Tomorrowland. You will be missed.

When you travel to the Magic Kingdom from the Ticket and Transportation Center check out the construction of the new DVC Villas at the Polynesian Resort-things are moving up. All the work so far has been grading, building structural supports in the water and along the former beach area but now we see things starting to move upward.  This is exciting and I should note the construction on the first parking garage in Downtown Disney has also started on the upward swing as well.  You will still need to take the Bus or Ferry Boat over to Magic Kingdom from TTC between 11AM and 7PM (through March 31) but at least you can get a look at the new villas being built at the Polynesian resort.

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Casey’s Corner still has walls up around its outdoor dining area and the restaurant is closed but scheduled to reopen Sunday, Feb. 16.  Both Pinocchio Village Haus and The Plaza Restaurant will be closing for refurbishment Feb. 17 for at least a month. Splash Mountain is still closed but the refurbishment is moving along as scheduled. It is to open in the latter half of March.

FastPass+ viewing area for the Fireworks is the Rose Garden and for the Parade you will be right in front of the Cinderella Castle.

Downtown Disney: Earl of Sandwich featuring two new sandwiches, Bacon Mac ‘’N’ Cheese, and Brownie Bark for dessert.  The BBQ chicken sandwich has purple onion, cheddar cheese, cilantro, grilled chicken, BBQ sauce and the Philly Cheese steak has tender beef, grilled onions and green peppers, cheese.  Brownie Bark is Brownie batter cooked in a layer that offers crispy and fudginess at the same time.  These sandwiches are pretty good, but I have some favorite sandwiches that I am disappointed not getting when I come.  The Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich is awesome by the way.  The Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese is delicious but would like a larger dish of it not just a small side dish.

Chocolates from Ghirardelli! Perfect Valentine’s Day gift!

Join a trunk show at Tren-D in Downtown Disney Marketplace to pick our one of the newest items from designer Petra Azar. Or find a special piece of art that inspires you both at the Art of Disney and meet special artist David E. Doss.  Check back at this store on the 22nd to see Disney Design Group artists who will be available from 2 to 5PM to sign their unique Steampunk artwork. This is combining a very unique style with Disney characters.  If you like detail, you will probably like the art produced by the Disney Design Group.

Epcot: Valentine’s Day is traditionally a big holiday here at Walt Disney World. Duffy has a special Valentine’s Day outfit and a mini-version of Duffy all decked out, rose in hand. Minnie is sporting a pink satin with red hearts dress, and matching hair bow and comes with a tiny Duffy with matching neck bow. You can choose a Valentine’s Day photo frame to hold a photo of you and your sweetie.  Pick up some device covers, collector pins, chocolates, and watches, just to name a few of the special merchandise for the special day of love. I see some couples here that look like they are having a great time together here.  I was walking toward the front of Epcot and noticed a couple ahead of me that I had been behind for awhile.  They were not holding hands, perhaps because it is such a warm day today, but they walked all the way out holding pinkies.

Although Anna and Elsa are the newest additions to the Festival of Fantasy Parade coming in March to the Magic Kingdom, the only place to meet them will be in Norway here in Epcot. They have extended hours now beginning at 9AM through 6PM daily.  I arrived at Norway around 10:45 and saw a line around the Stave Church, through the back of the pavilion all the way to the Phineas and Ferb sign-up wagon. Oh my, the line to see Anna and Elsa is now split so that it doesn’t take up the whole center of the Norway pavilion.  The good news is that some of the line is now in shady spots. The bad news is that at this time in the morning the line is already 4 ½ hours long.  The Cast Member at the door told me it is better to come around 4PM as the line is usually only 2 ½ hours long. She said that the people enjoying breakfast at Akershus just walk out and get in line and that is why it was busy this early in the morning.  They really are engaging and funny and it is fun to get your photo with the two most popular people at Walt Disney World.  Grab a drink and some sunscreen and pray that this will soon be a FastPass+ location.  There is a FastPass+ sign pointing in toward Maelstrom but it is really just a couple of people with iPads.  I chose to test FastPass+ at Epcot and was unable to get Soarin’ before late evening, so I chose Test Track in a few hours.  Those of you who wanted to know where the FastPass+ viewing area is it is in a semi-circle area built next to the water and you will not be disappointed in that as a viewing area.  Please don’t be discouraged at the lines at the first FastPass+ location you may come to and decide it is not worth it.  Just go on to a location farther in and you may not have to wait at all.

Ziti Sisters act in Italy is going away on the 22nd of February, and sadly another great performance artist Miyuki has also gone.  Miyuki entertained us for years with her unique candy sculpting several times daily in Japan. There seems to be a big hit on performers here at Walt Disney World this week.

Epcot will soon host the International Flower & Garden Festival beginning March 7. The Flower Power Concert series will take place on the weekends and have slated The Guess Who (March 7-9), Gary Lewis and the Playboys (Mar.14-16), The Orchestra Starring Former Members of ELO (Mar. 21-23), The Lovin’ Spoonful (Mar. 28-30), Paul Revere & the Raiders (April 4-6),  Village People (April 11-13), The Grass Roots (April 18-20), Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone (April 25-27), STARSHIP Starring Mickey Thomas ( May 2-4), Chubby Checker & The Wildcats (May 9-11), Alan Parsons Live Project (May 16-18). There will be some new Outdoor Kitchens added to this year’s Festival so we look forward to hearing what food and beverage choices we will have to enjoy along with the beautiful flowers and gardens.

Check out the photos of the work going on to prepare for the Flower and Garden Festival. My favorite is the color by number flower beddings that have a “chalk” outline of the shapes the beds will be.

Hollywood Studios: Backlot Tour is closed for refurb through March 1.

Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King’s new theater should open July 1, 2014. The construction walls are still up on the bridge to Harambe, Africa but check the next one over to Discovery Island and you will see the large structure that is seen above the walls.

Blizzard Beach is closed through March 16.

About Cassie

Cassie L. I am a lifelong Disney fan. I attended Walt Disney World in 1971, and was there during the opening week of EPCOT, and have visited the Disney Parks for than 30 times. I have had the privilege of visiting Disneyland as a child, and then again with my children. My family recently moved from the northeastern United States to the Walt Disney World area. I now have cast members in my family and enjoy hearing the magical stories at the end of a shift. I love visiting all of the parks and getting to try more Disney food and being able to share it with you to help you plan your own magical day at Disney.