Disney News

More details at Orlando Parks News: http://www.orlandoparksnews.com/2014/10/disney-cast-members-to-make-advance-fp.html.

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Disney updated the operating schedule for late October and November. The full November schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_november.pdf. Click refresh to load the newest version. October’s changes were not updated on the PDF, but are available at DisneyWorld.com.

Thanksgiving hours were not extended as much as anticipated, which is unfortunate because crowds will be similar to last year when Magic Kingdom was open from 8am-1am daily instead of 9am-12am. Likewise, the Studios and Animal Kingdom should see their usual 9am opens.

Sunday October 26:

  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am-8:30pm. Second Fatasmic added at 9pm, in addition to 7:30pm show.

Monday October 27:

  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am-11pm from 9am-10pm. Second Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade.

Tuesday October 28:

  • No changes.

Wednesday October 29:

  • No changes.

Thursday October 30:

  • No changes.

Friday October 31:

  • No changes.

Saturday November 1:

  • Hollywood Studios hours extended to 9am-8:30pm. Second Fatasmic added at 9pm, in addition to 7:30pm show.
  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am-12am from 9am-10pm. Second Electrical Parade added at 11pm, in addition to 9pm Parade

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Disney released the May 2015 operating schedule today at the usual link: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_may.pdf. Click refresh to load the newest version.

May looks to be straightforward this year. Expect average crowds over the first three weeks. Things pick up considerably going into May 22nd for Memorial Day Weekend and then stay high through the third week in August.

Star Wars Weekends looks to return on weekends beginning May 15th through mid-June.

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Disney continues to test “FastPass+ only” at headlining attractions. From October 6th-9th, no guests will be allowed to wait in the standby line or use their Disability Access Service Card at Toy Story Midway Mania. The ride will be FastPass+ only with additional FP+ available to fill the ride’s capacity, which is around 900 riders per hour. A similar test at Princess Fairytale Hall last month was an unmitigated disaster, with FastPass+ return waits of 45+ minutes. A test at Soarin’ with return tickets went a little better, but was still scrapped before the test was supposed to end.

The Toy Story test comes shortly after Disney axed two large capacity attractions – Backlot Tour and American Idol Experience, neither of which has an announced replacement. To reiterate, the current test ends October 9th with no current plans to extend it.  My advice is to secure Toy Story FastPass+ in advance and then attempt to schedule a FastPass+ to re-ride if you like at an in-park kiosk as early in the day as possible. With Toy Story being FP+ only, most guests will want to begin their day signing the kids up for Jedi Training Academy or heading down Sunset Boulevard to squeeze in a couple rides on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror.

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Disney released details on a new Frozen Holiday Premium Package at the Studios, which includes reserved viewing for the Osborne Lights and a dessert party, in addition to reserved seating at your choice of Frozen Sing-Along: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/hollywood-studios/frozen-holiday-premium-package/.

At Magic Kingdom, Anna and Elsa take over for Cinderella at the Castle lighting ceremony, scheduled nightly at 6:15pm beginning November 5th. It should continue through January 4th (end date not confirmed).

In unrelated news, the new Haunted Mansion store that replaces Yankee Trader near the attraction is expected to open officially October 6th. A “soft opening” is expected later today.

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Second Fantasmic Added on September 26 and 27

by josh on September 26, 2014

Just in case you’re headed to the Studios today or tomorrow, Disney added a second Fantasmic at 9:30pm on September 26 and 27, in addition to the 8pm show.

Also, this evening’s Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party sold out.

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Backlot Tour to Close September 27

by josh on September 19, 2014

As widely reported, Backlot Tour at Hollywood Studios will close permanently at the end of the day on September 27th.

It will now operate with five rides.

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Animal Kingdom Hours Extended on September 27

by josh on September 14, 2014

Just a heads up in case you’re headed to this website’s only recommended Park on Saturday September 27th – Animal Kingdom is now open from 9am-6pm instead of 9am-5pm.

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This is what we’re looking at for April. Click to enlarge or view as a prettier PDF. And if you don’t know what the numbers/letters mean, read the top of this post. The full operating schedule is available here.

April opens with high crowd levels and resort costs due to the Easter holiday on April 5th before things fall off dramatically beginning Sunday April 12th. The end of the month sees the lowest crowd levels until late August and some of the most comfortable temperatures of the year.

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Disney updated the January 2015 operating schedule with the changes below. The full operating schedule is available here: http://media.disneywebcontent.com/StaticFiles/ParkHours/WDWTravelAgent_january.pdf. Click “refresh” to load the newest version.

Also, Hollywood Studios’ hours on Wednesday February 18th were reduced to 9am-6pm from 9am-7pm.

Thursday January 1:

  • Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am-6pm from 9am-5pm.
  • Second Fantasmic added at 8pm, in addition to 6:30pm show.
  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am-1am from 9am-11pm. Second Christmas Parade added at 12pm, in addition to 3:30pm Parade. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 12:15am, in addition to 10:15pm Parade.

Friday January 2:

  • Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am-7pm from 9am-5pm.
  • Second Fantasmic added at 8pm, in addition to 6:30pm show.
  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am-1am from 9am-11pm. Second Christmas Parade added at 12pm, in addition to 3:30pm Parade. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 12:15am, in addition to 10:15pm Parade.

Saturday January 3:

  • Animal Kingdom hours extended to 9am-7pm from 9am-5pm.
  • Second Fantasmic added at 8pm, in addition to 6:30pm show.
  • Magic Kingdom hours extended to 9am-1am from 9am-11pm. Second Christmas Parade added at 12pm, in addition to 3:30pm Parade. Second Main Street Electrical Parade added at 12:15am, in addition to 10:15pm Parade.

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