Here are a few pertinent pieces of information to digest with your turkey preparation and/ore consumption:
The refurbishment of the Astro Orbiter at the Magic Kingdom from December 5 – 9 has been canceled. You are now free to cram into the elevator and ride the space-themed Dumbo relatively high atop the Magic Kingdom.
Block Party Bash Parade at Hollywood Studios is being replaced by a new Parade titled “Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun.” The new Parade is expected to debut Sunday January 16th. In order to switch over to the new Pixar Parade, there will be no Parade at the Hollywood Studios from January 2nd through January 15th. Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun will feature characters from Toy Story, The Incredibles, Up, Ratatouille, Monsters Inc., and A Bug’s Life. It is expected that it will be very similar to Block Party Bash and will feature many of the same basic floats, themed to Pixar films. I have been hesitating to update the 2011 crowd calendars with this information because it’s not officially posted on the Disney World website or Travel Agent Hours. Both sources still indicate the Block Party Bash is scheduled every day in 2011. However, it looks like Disney’s originally announced plans will come to fruition and Pixar Pals will arrive January 16th.
The operating hours at the Magic Kingdom on January 1st and January 18th have changed. We have an additional Mickey’s Once Upon A Christmastime Parade at 12pm (in addition to 3pm Parade) and an additional Main Street Electrical Parade at 9pm. On January 18th, the Magic Kingdom is closing at 6pm because it is hosting a private event that evening.
Disney is no longer selling tickets to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party for December 19th. I hesitate to use the word “sold out” because Disney can sell as many tickets as they want and this is just as likely to be a marketing gimmick as it is an actual indication of how many tickets have sold. Even “fake” supply shortages create demand. A lot of people who are on the fence about whether they want to purchase Mickey’s Christmas Party tickets will hear that dates are selling out and decide that they better buy their tickets because so many other people have already decided it’s a good purchase. Just for the record, I don’t have anything against the Christmas Party specifically. I just think it’s overpriced, overcrowded, and there are too few exclusive events to justify the price. Remember, beginning December 20th you can see the Christmastime Parade and Holiday Wishes during regular theme park hours. These are the two headlining events of the Party and you can see them “for free” from December 20th through January 1st. If you would like to know more about the Christmas Party and learn about some alternatives, see: Is 2010 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party MVMCP Worth the Cost? With all of that being said, if you are on the fence about the Christmas Party and plan to attend one of the Parties closer to Christmas, you’ll want to purchase those tickets sooner rather than later.
The Port Orleans French Quarter is undergoing an extensive resort-wide refurbishment. Rooms will now feature two queen-size beds, a flat-screen television, new carpets, new headboards, and more. For pictures and to keep up on the refurbishment, bookmark PortOrleans.org Rehab Updates. Port Orleans French Quarter is my favorite of the Disney Moderate Resorts because of its small size, superb transportation, and boat access to Downtown Disney. Its biggest downside was previously the “tired” state of the rooms. Now that the rooms will be updated and upgraded, Port Orleans French Quarter will be in even higher demand and I will recommend it that much more. Keep in mind the French Quarter does have two other major downsides – no table service restaurant and a lousy pool. However, French Quarter guests are welcome to walk or bus over to Port Orleans Riverside and use their pools or eat at their restaurant. The refurbishment has already begun and is expected to conclude by April 2011. If you are staying at the French Quarter between now and then, you will want to request a refurbished room. Request one both at the time of booking and follow up with the resort directly bu calling 1-407-934-5000 about a week before your check-in date. Follow up about two days before your check-in date to make sure everything is correct. If they tell you they can’t get you a refurbished room or don’t know what you’re talking about, try calling again later.