Changes at Walt Disney World

Maelstrom

CanyonSeptember 1999

All good things must come to an end…..

A few of Walt Disney World’s favorite attractions are closing…some for good.

At Hollywood Studios, the Studio Backlot Tour is closing permanently. The final day for this attraction is set for this Saturday, September 27, 2014. The AFI Showcase at the end of the tour will also be permanently closed. For those not familiar with the attraction, guests take part in a live effects demonstration of a “Harbor Attack” where a few guests actually get to ‘act’ (and subsequently get soaked!). This is followed by a tram tour of production houses, props and “Catastrophe Canyon”. As you make your way across a rickety bridge (would you expect anything less?) the ground begins to shake and a huge tanker filled with fuel comes storming towards you with fiery gusto as water splashes you from the mountain side. Sound fun? Then you’d better get there before Saturday! I’ve been on this attraction many times over the years and while it does get a little old after the umpteenth time going on it (whatever happened to the Golden Girls house?!?!), it was definitely a good attraction for first timers and will certainly be missed.

Also closed at Hollywood Studios is the American Idol Experience which closed permanently as of August 30. Having never been to this attraction, I can’t comment as to whether or not it was any good. With the popularity of American Idol dwindling as the years go on, it’s no surprise this attraction got the ol’ heave-ho!

Most surprising to people, and upsetting to some (depending on who you ask), is the closure and redesign of Maelstrom in Epcot. Set for its final run on October 6, 2014, Maelstrom and The Spirit of Norway will close to make way for a new attraction based on the uber-popular film FROZEN. While most of the details are still under lock and key, you can bet the new Frozen attraction will most definitely take guests to Arendelle where Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven will be featured. Try getting “Let it Go” out of your head after that ride! 😉

There is also talk that Anna + Elsa will be back to Epcot with a new meet and greet location in Norway. This should hopefully ease up the craziness currently being experienced at Magic Kingdom, where Anna + Elsa currently meet guests.

So how do you feel about the new changes announced at Disney World? Any surprises?

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Frozen Grosses $1 Billion at the Box Office

Frozen Cast

Disney’s Oscar Award winning animated feature film ‘Frozen’ has grossed more than $1 Billion at the box office in less than four months. This makes Frozen the 18th highest grossing film of all time.

Let’s say that again: OF.ALL.TIME.

And the second highest grossing animated film after Toy Story 3. Not that I’m surprised. I felt the movie was incredible, the scenery was beautiful and the characters left something for everyone to enjoy. Both my kids are still talking about the movie and singing the songs. Ok, I’ll admit it, so am I.

The good news: Disney is already in talks for a sequel and producing a Broadway show based on the film.

The bad news: Merchandise is hard to find at most stores (I am finding, at least). Have you checked e-bay lately? People are selling items for double, triple and even quadruple what they paid for them (not to mention what they’re really worth after the enormous ‘mark up’).

As Elsa would say…..”Let it go”…..