This is the weekly rumor and refurbishment update for the Orlando-area theme parks for the week of March 16, 2014.
Walt Disney World
Magic KingdomSeven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train logo was revealed this past week, but still no mention of an opening date for the attraction. Latest rumors indicate a grand opening on May 2, 2014. Cast Members working the attraction are allegedly going to begin training in the beginning of April. This will allow a very short period of time for soft openings before the media event between April 30 and May 2. When New Fantasyland opened in 2012, there was over a month of soft openings before the media event, so the latest rumors are very surprising.
If you are traveling to Disney World after April, the attraction will most likely be open. If you are traveling in April, it might be hit or miss. An official opening date announcement from Disney cannot be very far away, so stay tuned.Central Plaza
Earlier this month an announcement was made about a complete transformation to the Magic Kingdom’s Central Plaza. Work has begun on this project as walls are now up all around the hub and the old Swan Boat landing has been demolished.
A few rare photographs were taken last week of Cinderella Castle with silver turrets. This is part of the refurbishment of the castle. The silver is a base coat and will make the blue shine. The silver turrets are quickly painted over as the castle refurbishment is expected to finish later this month.Cosmic Ray's Starlight Café
Cosmic Ray's quick service restaurant located in Tomorrowland has finished enclosing the former patio area. This adds much needed indoor capacity. The new seating location provides great views of Cinderella Castle and construction of the new Central Plaza.
Disney has introduced a new dessert party at Epcot called the “Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party”.
The new party will be located at Epcot’s Showcase Plaza and will cost $49 per adult and $29 per child. The menu will include dessert from around world showcase such as Tiramisu, Vanilla Pot de Crème, baklava, ice cream and more. Also included is sparling wine and different non-alcoholic drinks.
The Illuminations Sparkling Dessert Party is available Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7:45pm – 9:20pm. Seating is not available. Reservations can be made 180 days in advance online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
Disney Polynesian Resort
The closure of Captain Cook’s quick service restaurant has been pushed back to April 9. A temporary location with the same menu items (minus dole whip) will be available during the refurbishment process. Captain Cook’s is expected to reopen sometime in July or August.
Walt Disney World Annual Passholders now have the option to customize their MagicBand with shipment later this month.
Passholders will have the ability to reserve FastPass+ selection 30 days in advance for a seven-day period as opposed to the 60 days in advance for resort guests. If you have a resort reservation, then you will be able to make FastPass+ selections 60 days in advance. If you prefer not to wear a MagicBand, then your current Annual Pass ticket will still work and you can access your FastPass+ reservations via the ticket.
MagicBands are only being shipped to addresses in the United States without the option of local pickup at Disney World.