Timeshare Remodels Seem Better

I have been in quite a few of the DVC resorts before, and after their refurbishments.  The resorts do appear, and look different.  The latest refurbishment we were around for was Old Key West.  The most recent resort we stayed in after refurbishment was Animal Kingdom Villas. The rooms seemed to increase in space for some reason.  I am not sure if it was just changes in some of the furniture, or the fact that the tvs are now concealed on what appears to be peerless mounts in the furniture.  I have also found that the mattresses seem more comfortable.

Have you ever stayed at a DVC resort?  Which one?  How did you like it?

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Fantasyland Expansion Updates

The plans have changed before, and I am sure that nothing is final until it is finished with Disney in regards to the Fantasyland Expansion that is underway in the Magic Kingdom.

Scheduled to open in phases beginning in late 2012, the new Fantasyland will immerse guests in Disney stories as never before. Among the highlights planned:

  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, a major, all-new attraction during which guests will travel with Ariel and her friends through their exciting adventures above and below the waves – all against a musical backdrop of songs from the classic film.

  • The castle of the Beast, standing majestically upon a hill just across an old stone bridge from Ariel’s new home. The Be Our Guest Restaurant will feature a lavish dining experience in the elegant ballroom, gallery, and mysterious “West Wing” of the castle. With seating for 550, this magnificent facility will offer “great food fast” service by day and full table service dining in the evening. Nearby in Belle’s Village, guests will find the rousing Gaston’s Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
  • Just outside the village is Belle’s cottage and Enchanted Tales with Belle. The adventure begins in Maurice’s workshop, where a magical mirror is the doorway to a captivating new kind of storytelling experience: Guests are transported to the Beast’s library to meet Belle and Lumiere, and share in a lively, interactive, re-telling of the “tale as old as time.”
  • The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will take guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” The coaster will feature a first-of-its kind ride system with a train of ride vehicles that swing back and forth, responding to every twist and turn of the track. The journey will be accompanied by music from the classic Disney film and animated figures of Snow White and the Dwarfs.

  • In Princess Fairytale Hall, Aurora, Cinderella and other Disney princesses, such as Tiana and Rapunzel, will greet guests in their new home, an elegant royal court on the site where Snow White’s Scary Adventures stands today.
  • The sound of the calliope will lead guests to the brand new Storybook Circus and not one but two circling carousels of airborne pachyderms on Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Before taking to the skies on this Fantasyland favorite, guests can experience an array of fun-filled family games and interactive wonders for kids of all ages inside the Big Top.

  • Next door in Storybook Circus, the classic Barnstormer gets a bright new look as well, featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini. It’s a twisting, turning roller coaster “flight” high above the circus fun.

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Toontown Is Closing Information

We all knew it was coming sooner or later.  Mickey’s Toontown is closing.  Why?  Well in case you don’t know there is a major construction project underway for the Fantasyland Expansion.  Search through my site, and you will find more information.

Here is the text from the Examiner…

As part of the planned Fantasyland expansion for Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World has announced the closing of Mickey’s Toontown Fair, home to many of Disney’s characters and several attractions for younger guests. Mickey’s Towntown Fair will close Feb. 11, 2011.

Mickey’s Toontown Fair, which originally opened in 1988 as Mickey’s Birthdayland, is the seventh Magic Kingdom themed area. The area features cartoonish architecture themed for specific Disney characters – Mickey and Minnie are neighbors – and toddler-friendly attractions such as Goofy’s Barnstormer (a kiddie coaster) and Donald’s Boat (a water play area).

Combined with the Judge’s Tent, a meet-and-greet location for the Big Cheese himself, and frequent appearances by other characters, Mickey’s Toontown Fair has proved particularly popular with families with young children.

The Disney Parks Blog noted the Disney characters will still be present in Magic Kingdom and throughout Walt Disney World. When Mickey’s Toontown Fair close, character appearances be relocated to the following areas in spring 2011:

  • Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and princesses: Town Square (the areas currently known as Town Square Exposition Hall)
  • Tinker Bell: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (perhaps as acknowledgement of her recent Hollywood Hall of Fame star or the successful Pixie Hollows DVD series)
  • Pixie Hollow Fairies: Epcot (possibly in conjunction with the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, March 2 – May 15, which will feature a Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden area).

Guests should be sure to pick up a theme park’s Guidemap and Times Guide when seeking character meet-and-greet locations.

Even after Mickey’s Toontown Fair closes, the Walt Disney World Railroad will continue to operate. The stations, however, will be closed.

The Fantasyland expansion, which Disney promotes as being the largest in the history of the Magic Kingdom, will nearly double the size of Fantasyland. Original plans for the Fantasyland expansion included a re-worked Dumbo attraction, expanded to a three-ring circus and offering more interactive queue, The Little Mermaid dark ride, and more space devoted to Disney princesses and the Tinker Bell / Pixie Hollow characters.

Since the original announcement, however, Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, gave the Orlando Sentinel and interview stating the Fantasyland expansion plans are still in development, perhaps responding to concerns the expansion plans too heavily focused on attracting a “young girl” demographic.

The Fantasyland expansion will be rolled out in phases, with most attractions and new experiences scheduled to open by 2013.

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What Happens To Toontown & The Homes Of the Mice?

If you have ever been to Walt Disney World, then you know that at the back of the Magic Kingdom sits 2 homes that belong to the 2 Head Cheeses… (No Pun Intended!)  Well, if you haven’t been there, then here is some information.  Mickeys Toontown was created at the back of the Magic Kingdom.  It is home to Goofy’s Barnstormer, Donalds boat, Mickeys house, Minnies house, and Judges Tent.  There is also a train station at the back of Toontown.

While the public has no idea when the refurbishment will start I will venture to guess that it will more than likely start after the Easter holiday concludes.  I have been to Disney a lot, and historically they seem to do a lot of their changes after this date.

Judges Tent is a place for children to meet several “groups” of Disney characters.  It is also home of some Disney merchandise.

Goofys Barnstormer is a childs roller coaster.

Donalds boat is a playarea for children.  The S.S. Miss Daisy has some leaks in her, so you may get wet.

Mickeys house features a house that is in total disarray. 

Minnies house is a clean house with everything in its place.  Her house features her craft room, living room, kitchen, garden, and her office.  Put on your best makeup, and face creams because on occasion you can meet Minnie in the backyard.

When the proposed Fantasyland refurbishment happens what will happen to our hosts homes?  I don’t know, but I hope that they do something, as “It all began with a Mouse.”

D23 FantasyLand Rendition

In the new Fantasyland they have stated that you will be able to meet with the princesses at their homes, Ariel will be getting her own area finally, and Dumbo will be getting a huge overhaul.

While this overhaul will take a serious amount of time I think it will be a good thing for some change to come to the Magic Kingdom.  This will also help Disney considerable because the park limit will now be increased, which will result in more revenue.

I will post tomorrow with other renditions of the proposed Fantasyland that were presented at D23.

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