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Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's 2009! Time to Celebrate!

The Years of a Million Dreams have ended. Now it's time to celebrate!

Today begins the year-long "What will you Celebrate?" promotion at the Disney Parks. Did anyone catch how much promotion Disney Parks ran last night during all the New Year's Eve shows? They were the primary sponsor of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on ABC (no surprise), but they also sponsored several hours of shows on the Travel Channel, including a special fireworks show (with castle lights) from the Magic Kingdom that aired right at midnight. I wish I'd run a capture on it - I caught the tail end, and it looked awesome.

On top of that, the Travel Channel ran a consant crawl where people could text in their New Year's wishes -- specifically aimed at Disney. There were several messages related to the parks.

If this is any indication of what 2009 will bring, it looks like the Disney Parks are going to do some heavy advertising this year.

So what's on the Disney horizon this year?
-- It's pretty much a given that Space Mountain will be going down sometime this year for what is expected to be a MAJOR refurbishment. I spoke with one Imagineer who confirmed that a 2009 refurb was in the planning - no specific dates, of course. As of this post, Disney has yet to announce an official date, but anyone planning to go to WDW in 2009 should know that there is a possibility that Space Mountain may be down for refurb.

-- New to the Hall of Presidents: President Barack Obama. The scheduled opening is July 1, though soft openings are likely, probably in May. Look for George Washington to have a speaking role that he didn't have before.

-- The Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary is set to open in 2009. This is a huge DVC tower, which, I hear already is about 50% sold. As I've said many times before, if I had $30,000 is spare change, I'd grab one of these in a heartbeat. But that's a story for another time. Also under reconstruction are the Treehouse Villas near the Saratoga Springs resort. These were is use at one point until they were heavily damaged by a hurricane. Now Disney's working to bring these back up to snuff.

-- The American Idol Experience is set to open in just a few weeks at the Hollywood Studios. The WDW Radio Show had a great interview a few weeks ago with one of the designers, so check that out.

-- A new parade is coming to the Magic Kingdom some time in February. The "Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party" was announced during the Christmas Day Parade from Walt Disney World on ABC. This is in coordination with the "What Will You Celebrate?" promotion.

-- Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure goes online in just a few weeks. This is a fantastic enhancement to World Showcase and I highly encourage it! See my previous post for a sneak peek when I took part in some beta testing.

-- Look for some new things to start popping up in the former Pleasure Island. Who knows, maybe the Adventurer's Club could resurface, much to the hopes of many fans.

-- Something else that's already started is a shortened ADR window. Now you can make your dining ADR's only 90 days in advance. There are some exceptions to this, but for the most part, 90 days is the new window.

As for me, the DisneyDaddy will continue to bring you news, tips and my thoughts about the Happiest Place on Earth. I wish each and every one of you a very happy, safe and magical 2009!


Jeff Heimbuch said...

I hope Space Mountain isn't down when I'm there in March!!

And the shortened ADR window definitely helped me when making a reservation at the Spirit of Aloha dinner show! Do you know if they still offer the Cinderella Castle dinner engagement package?

Chuck Lionberger said...

You can still have dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table. You may want to call 404-WDW-DINE to check on the dinner engagement package.

As for Space Mountain -- we'll just have to wait and see.

Doug said...

Hey Chuck... Just getting caught up on some back episodes of podcasts. Enjoyed your appearance and penny segment on WDW Radio. Enjoying looking around your site and enjoying your photography of The World. Have a great '09 !

Chuck Lionberger said...

Glad you heard the WDW Radio Show segment and came to check out the blog! Have a wonderful '09 yourself!

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