Plus…Celebrate the Magic Projection Show debuts at Cinderella Castle, Update on The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, and more!
by Don Myers
Lights and garland have been hung up and down Main Street, and Cinderella Castle has been covered from head to toe with 200,000 twinkling Dreamlights. Larger-than-life trees have been decorated and placed around all of the parks and resorts, and preparations are well underway on the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House and the Beach Club Gingerbread Carousel. Everywhere you look, the joy and cheer of the Holiday season can be felt. Well, almost everywhere. You see, not all is well at the Vacation Kingdom of the World, as there’s some major news brewing over Starbucks and the Main Street Bakery that’s got a lot of people whipped into a frenzy! So let’s get to the bottom of things and dive into the latest edition of the WDW Radio Newswire…..
We begin this edition of the Newswire on Main Street USA, where a recent announcement has sent the Disney Community into an uproar. On Friday November 9th, Disney revealed that two Starbucks locations would be coming to WDW in the summer of 2013. One of these locations will be in Epcot’s Future World at the site of Fountain View Ice Cream, and the second location will be at…The Main Street Bakery. Naturally, this announcement sent every Disney traditionalist from here to Neverland into an absolute stupor! Yes, corporate sponsors have been prevalent around the parks from the beginning. And yes, Epcot Center may have never been built without the backing of corporate sponsorship. But Main Street USA should NOT have Starbucks come in and push the Main Street Bakery out of business. This exact script has and continues to play out all over real-life small town America, and is not something Walt would have envisioned taking place at his beloved Florida Project. Well…it seems as if I’m not alone in my stance, as these cries have not fallen upon deaf ears. Just three days later, on Monday November 12th, Disney issued an “update” on the Starbucks Main Street location. The update stated that the Main Street Bakery will KEEP its name and theme, and will continue to serve all of the delicious baked goods we’ve grown accustomed to, in addition to Starbucks products. The Main Street Bakery will still be closing in January 2013 and re-opening in the summer, but at least we now have confirmation that the bakery’s name and theme will remain intact. So what the real story here? Do we have a case of not enough initial info causing a false panic amongst Disney enthusiasts? Or…did Disney decide to re-think things after they received a plethora of negative feedback? At this point, I guess it’s all just a matter of opinion. If you’d like to dissect the words from the official announcement/update yourself and make your own judgments, check here.
For more news out of Magic Kingdom, let’s head into Liberty Square now for an update on the Liberty Square Riverboat. The ol’ paddlewheeler (affectionately known as the Liberty Belle) will be closing down for a brief refurb this February. The riverboat will cease operations on Friday February 1st, as is scheduled to resume its course along the Rivers of America one week later on Friday February 8th.
Before we park-hop out of Magic Kingdom, there’s two more bits of news to address, both of which can be found at Cinderella Castle. The first one pertains to an old favorite, one that’s returning to the Castle Forecourt Stage once again this year: Cinderella’s Holiday Wish. Performances have already begun, and the show will continue run throughout the duration of the Holiday season. The show features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Prince Charming, the Fairy Godmother, and of course, Cinderella. As Mickey and the gang debate the best way to decorate the Castle for the Holidays, the Fairy Godmother emerges and persuades them to let Cinderella decide. The end result is the lighting of 200,000 Castle Dreamlights, a breath-taking sight you’re sure to cherish forever!
Okay, the final Castle newsbit has to do with something I first mentioned back in the August 27th edition of the Newswire: The Celebrate the Magic Projection Show. After months of planning, the new show finally made its premiere on Tuesday November 13th, replacing the old projection show: The Magic, The Memories, and You! Celebrate the Magic can be seen nightly at Cinderella Castle, and the show will also feature special editions for other Holidays such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween. They’ll even have a “Summer” version on tap for 2013, just as they did for The Magic, The Memories, and You!
Time to park-hop over to Hollywood Studios now for an update on The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow. Back in the May 7th edition of the Newswire, I detailed plans for an upcoming journey into Captain Jack’s mysterious World. The attraction will be an interactive adventure as well as a meet and greet, and can be found in the space formerly occupied by Journey into Narnia: Prince Caspian. Disney has finally pegged an opening date for the attraction, as The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is scheduled to officially set sail on Thursday December 6th. But if you’re going to be visiting the Studios in the next few weeks, you may want to stop by the area and scope things out, as there will indeed be “soft openings” for the attraction which are slated to begin at the end of this month.
Well, that’s gonna do it for today’s update. But before we call it a wrap, let’s take a look back at the results of our previous poll. The question was:
What is your favorite sit-down restaurant at the Magic Kingdom?
. Liberty Tree Tavern
. Tony’s Town Square
. Be Our Guest
. Cinderella’s Royal Table
. Crystal Palace
. The Plaza
And the winner is…
Liberty Tree Tavern with 30% of the total vote! Crystal Palace finished a very close second, gaining 26% of the votes. Cinderella’s Royal Table rounded out the Top 3, pulling in 16% of the total vote. The Plaza finished fourth with 12%, and was followed closely by Be Our Guest with 11% and Tony’s Town Square with 5%. Once again, I’d like to send out a big thank you to everyone that took the time to vote! Now onto this week’s question:
Don Myers covers news and recent events in Walt Disney World. He has been enamored with the World of Disney since his first trip to WDW in 1986. As they say, the rest is history! Don also has been a contributing writer for Celebrations magazine since 2009.