This is the weekly rumor and refurbishment update for the Orlando-area theme parks for the week of February 9, 2014.

Walt Disney World:

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade:

Disney unveiled the costumes to be used in the upcoming Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade.

“A modern interpretation of classic elements is a hallmark of Rada’s designs as seen in the sculpted conch shell headpiece and shimmering pastel dress that comprise “The Little Mermaid” unit’s “Seashell Girl.”

“After gathering the materials, Rada and a Creative Costuming graphic artist worked together to create almost 40 custom fabrics including the furry plaids and tweed stripes worn by the “Newsies-inspired” Lost Boys of the “Peter Pan” unit.”

“An innovative 3D printing technology was used to create the elegant beaks of the “Ravens” in the “Sleeping Beauty” unit. Each piece was base coated, bronzed, lacquered and gilded with fiery Swarovski stones to complete the finished look.”

The Finale unit’s “Cha Cha Girl” is the queen of head-to-toe ensemble with her big top inspired fit and flare dress, bolero jacket embellished with sequins, star spangled tights and hair reminiscent of pulled taffy exuding the essence of Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland.

Here are the different floats for the parade:

The Princess Garden – "This pageantry of princesses celebrates Disney royalty. Cinderella, Tiana and Belle accompanied by their respective princes, ride in a garden of topiaries with woodland creatures, birds and more. Cinderella’s dress playfully twirls like a turntable, while Swan Court couples lead the 50-foot-long majestic float, capped off with a special appearance by Anna and Elsa from Disney’s hit animated feature, 'Frozen.'"

Tangled – "A massive long ship on the high seas showcases Flynn Rider and Rapunzel in search of adventure and another Best. Day. Ever! Rapunzel’s iconic tresses weave throughout this 36-foot-long float decked out with swaying pendulums carrying dastardly thugs."

Little Mermaid – "Ariel and her friends sit atop a colorfully kinetic seashell music box that boasts an enchanting musical jubilee. There’s no shortage of whimsy on this Under the Sea float with conga dancing fish kicking up their fins and bubbles galore. Shimmering fabrics and intricately designed costumes for the Lion Fish, Coral Fish, Seashell and Sea Horse performers are runway-inspired."

Peter Pan – "Straight from Never Land come Peter Pan and Wendy soaring high aboard the famous Jolly Roger pirate ship complete with smoke effects and special surprises. A rainbow arch shines over Skull Rock and Tinker Bell nestled among giant flowers, while Captain Hook takes center stage on a swinging anchor. 'Newsies-inspired' Lost Boys kick up their heels to high-energy choreography."

Brave – "Celtic couples and a vessel shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida perched high on her majestic crown. Scottish dancers step to melodies of the Great Highlands in celebration of the popular Disney*Pixar film, 'Brave.'"

Sleeping Beauty – "The heroic Prince Phillip battles a Steampunk-inspired Dragon as the wicked Maleficent. This float stretches 53 feet in length and 26 feet tall with a prickly spinning wheel dead center of the float. With fiery eyes and glowing effects the spectacular dragon was built on an articulating chassis allowing the float to bend and flex as it moves along the parade route – a first for Disney parades. This float was designed in a partnership with Tony Award-winner Michael Curry. There’s Prince Phillip, thorn-inspired stilt performers, dramatic raven dancers, plus the three good fairies, Flora, Fauna and Merryweather glide along the parade route."

Finale and Mickey’s Airship – "The parade culminates with a 90-foot-long magical caravan of characters featuring Pinocchio, Dumbo, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Mad Hatter, Pluto and more in a splashy carnival of color. There’s Pegasus horses, dancing hippos and sassy Bubble Girls with cotton-candy-like hair celebrating Storybook Circus in New Fantasyland. Sporting zany new costumes Mickey and Minnie Mouse sit sky high in Mickey’s Airship — a giant hot air balloon that rounds out Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade."

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will debut in March 2014.


If you were planning on waiting 2 - 4 hours to meet characters from "Frozen" on your next visit to Walt Disney World, have no fear, Anna and Elsa will be here. It has been confirmed by Disney that Anna and Elsa will continue to meet in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot for the foreseeable future. They will be able to meet from 9:00am to 6:00pm everyday. Lines for the royal sisters are consistently a few hours long with lines reaching almost six hours during the holidays. There is no FastPass+ available, so if you want to skip the line, you will have to make the hike up to Norway right when the park opens.

Magic Kingdom:

Along with the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade debuting in March, headlines are being made about the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Earlier this week, walls came down around the Be Our Guest section of New Fantasyland revealing stunning detail and theming. Now, InsideTheMagic has reported there will be a summer press event held between April 30, 2014 and May 2, 2014. During that event, attendees will be able to preview the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, so it will be operational by the end of April. No official opening date has been given from Disney for the attraction, although there is a possibility the attraction will soft open before the press event with a grand opening sometime in May.

It looks like there is a second ferry boat landing currently under construction a the Transportation and Ticket Center according to WDWMagic. A while back there was mention of a bridge like structure near Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, it turns out the floating structure is actually the dock for the new landing. The new dock will double the capacity of the ferries and will be ready for the spring break season.

The refurbishment for the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover has been delayed. It is likely to now coincide with the refurbishment of the Astro Orbitor later this year.

Universal Orlando:

Although there is not as much official news revolving around Universal as there is Disney (we're in a lull, waiting for further details of Diagon Alley), a new restaurant officially opened at CityWalk. Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food is now open every night at 5:00pm. This is part of a larger effort to bring more dining and entertainment offerings to CityWalk.


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