This is the weekly news, rumors and refurbishments update for Walt Disney World for the week of September 21, 2014.
Here are the three biggest updates from around the resort for the past seven days…
1. More evidence points towards Hollywood Studios being the next BIG project for Walt Disney World
WDWMagic is reporting that permits were recently filed for work on Soundstage 1. Soundstage 1 is the building adjacent to Toy Story Midway Mania. The permit expires 9/30/2016 and is titled “Project 3 - DHS Soundstage 1 Renovation”. The permit also shows that Whiting Turner is involved in the project. That may mean nothing except that Turner was involved in bringing Toy Story Mania to Hollywood Studios.
There’s strong speculation that an expansion of Toy Story Mania will fill that space, but that may not be all. Some of the most influential Disney executives and Imagineers have been seen inside Hollywood Studios. Some of those executives include Tom Staggs, George Kalogridis, Bruce Vaughn, Kathy Mangum, and John Lasseter. These executives have the ability to make the changes we all wish (or not wish) for.
2. Splash Mountain and Blizzard Beach are closing for refurbishment in January
Splash Mountain and Blizzard Beach will be closing for their annual refurbishment in January 2015.
Splash Mountain will be closing January 4, 2015, reopening February 1, 2015. Splash Mountain closes every winter for a refurbishment. 2014 saw a three month refurbishment that brought back much of the animatronics and restored the laughing place’s jumping water.
Blizzard Beach will also be closing January 4, 2015, but will not reopen until March 14, 2015. Typhoon Lagoon will be closing October 26, 2014, but will reopen January 4, 2015 in time for Blizzard Beach’s refurbishment.
3. The monorail will be operating on a different schedule again
The new monorail schedule is:
- Magic Kingdom Express Monorail: 7:00am to 1-hour after park close
- Magic Kingdom Resort Monorail: 8:30am to 1-hour after park close
- Epcot Monorail: 8:00am to 11:00pm or 1-hour after Magic Kingdom close (whichever comes first)
This is an extension to the previous hours. The modified hours are likely to accommodate the work to automate the monorail.