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This is the weekly rumor and refurbishment update for the Orlando-area theme parks for the week of March 2, 2014.

Walt Disney World

Disney announced a 24-hour event that will occur at Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. The “Rock Your Disney Side Party” will take place from 6 a.m., May 23 to 6 a.m., May 24, 2014.

© Disney

To announce the event, Disney tweeted a photo of 140 characters in the shape of a hashtag. The photo was taken in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom and features every character imaginable. If you’re wondering who the characters in the photo are, here’s a link to a list of them all.

As you may recall, Disney has announced a 24-hour event every year since 2012. In 2012 it was the “One More Disney Day” campaign. In 2013 it was the “Monstrous Summer” campaign. For 2014, Disney wants you to show your “Disney Side” by dressing up as your favorite hero or villain for the night. The parks will feature different events “…showcasing the good-vs.-evil of classic Disney stories including character meet-and-greets throughout the parks, special entertainment, event merchandise and special food and beverage offerings.”

Epcot

The 2014 Epcot international Flower and Garden Festival has officially begun with dozens of topiaries and eleven Outdoor Kitchens.

© Disney

Some of this year’s topiary designs include Mickey, Minnie and Pluto; Mater’s Parts, Plants & Play Garden; Classic Disney Couples; Beauty and the Beast; and Mike & Sulley’s Monstrous Garden. Kermit and Miss Piggy are also appearing in topiary form in between the Italy and the Germany pavilions with a display inspired by the new movie Muppets Most Wanted.

MyMagic+

Walt Disney World Annual Passholders will soon receive MagicBands as the next phase of MyMagic+. By mid-March all Annual Passholders should have the option to customize and order a MagicBand on their My Disney Experience account with delivery expected later this month.

© Disney

Annual Passholders will be able to make FastPass+ selections sixty days in advance for a seven day period just like resort guests. Passholders should also receive a card along with their MagicBand that can be used for discounts and parking.

Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Work continues as a part of a major refurbishment to Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Tikiman revealed some dates given to the staff about the work schedule. Remember these dates can change at any moment.

  • Kids Club closed and reopens April 27
  • Bus lane/ guard shack starts work March 5 -May 8
  • Guest entrance March 5 -June 3
  • Porte-cochere walkways March 17 - Oct 22
  • Great Ceremonial House projects March 12 -Dec 15
  • Captain Cook's March 28 - July
  • Trader Jack's / Samoa Snacks May 19 -August 28
  • Volcano Pool Late July - Spring 2015

The waterfall in the Great Ceremonial House is to be boarded up sometime this week, as work in the lobby finally begins. If you are staying or planning to stay at the Polynesian Resort in 2014, I recommend you follow Tikiman on Facebook or continue checking the weekly updates.

Refurbishments for March 2014

  • Festival of the Lion King: Closed until summer 2014
  • Splash Mountain: Present to March 21, 2014
  • Winter Summerland Golf Course (Winter Course): Present to June 1, 2014
  • Pinocchio Village Haus: Present to March 30, 2014
  • Swiss Family Treehouse: March 17, 2014 to March 28, 2014

Universal Orlando

King Kong

Permits were filled that are believed to be the first signs of a new King Kong area in Islands of Adventure as shared by Parkscope. The permits go by the vague name of “Project 340”, but that has been tossed around as the code name for the King Kong project. We’ll keep you updated as more information is revealed - but for now, you can find out all about the potential rides that may sit on the site by reading this article.

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