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Because nothing says happy new year like a 5 hour queue for Test Track!

Hat coming down to make space for Arendelle castle  

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Safe to say Hollywood Studios is definitely not the park to visit at the moment. Alongside this more shows & meet and greets are closing, One Man's Dream should be going anyday and there won't be anymore Star Wars weekends or Osbourne Lights Spectacular, not to mention the many construction fences.

Makes most other parks (where 2016 isn't their year) look worthwhile to visit.

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The parks in the states are receiving cuts! Due to Paris being down money wise as per, and Shanghai being well over budget and delay after delay with phased opening planned now, the State side parks are receiving cuts from reduced hours, less Cast Members in shops, shops and restaraunts open less and Epcot basically closing everything in the Soarin Pavillion and stuff early by like 2 hours. Haven't read into it much but its happening. 

 

I want to talk Animal Kingdom though. The park is in its final preparations for night time openings from having a night time safari to an evening show called Rivers of Light (no fireworks of course, more like world of colour at DCA) with multiple shows likely! So for the first time, AK will have to be open past dark each night! And with many concepts of Avatar Land being at night, this is a good way to start the night time openings in preparation. So when will all this happen? Earth Day (22nd April) is the rumour as that's when AK opens a lot of stuff, plus there's cast blockouts on the 19th April. Exciting times for this park! 

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Rivers of Light

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Tree of Life will be involved too.

 

And apparently it will have at least 2 showings a night! For the night time safari, how about a sunset created in the background with the wonders of screens?

SunsetSafari_wide.jpgSo the next two years are definitely AK with this and then Avatar.

 

Hollywood Studios is beginning its huge makeover (which seems to involve closing more of the park than the new things replace but I guess the new things will be higher quality) with Toy Story Land and Star Wars. No dates on either yet.

 

Magic Kingdom is pretty set.

 

So Epcot? The park is looking dated, attractions old and nothing amazing. Oh but Frozen is coming this year, as you can tell everyone is hyped. And a new Soarin film to sleep to :) So the next big project has got to be for Epcot.

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I'm very excited for Star Wars land as it looks mightily impressive and looks to be the Disney equivalent of TWWOHP.

 

Shame that the state parks are receiving cutbacks in places due to Shanghai [and to a lesser extent DLP] consuming resoucres for their projects and problems. Hopefully they will find a way to resume normal operations soon, especially with the major competition they're facing from the likes of Universal. Not to mention, visitor numbers at the parks [WDW especially] are continuing to pile up, where MK may well break 20M in gate figures now. 

 

In terms of when new attractions, the initial plans are:

2016 Frozen ride, Soarin 2.0, Rivers of Light & Kilmanjaro [as Adam mentioned earlier]

Avatar Land 2017/2018

Toy Story Land 2018/2019

Star Wars Land 2019/2020 [I've heard DLR's is set for a 2019 opening and will be built before the WDW one]

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As part of one of the most hated traditions, WDW's ticket prices increased today. However they've now reverted to seasonal pricing.

Value (off peak days)

Magic kingdom $105.00

Other parks $97.00

Regular (regular season)

Magic Kingdom $110.00

Other parks $102.00

Peak (peak days)

Magic Kingdom $124

Other parks $114.00

Safe to say if you're going at busy times you're going to be paying a lot more.

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As expected, Rivers of Light opens on 22nd April, Earth Day. Good luck to Avatar keeping that trend... unless they wait till Earth Day 2018 ;)

 

Few spoilers in the video of the show and how it will work, don't watch if you're living in secrecy.

 

From Orlando Attractions Magazine Article:

 

 

Other nighttime happenings at the park include:

Nearby on Discovery Island the area will come alive each night with a celebration filled with music and dance. The theme park’s Tree of Life will undergo “awakenings” throughout the evening as the animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that open a window into the body of the tree, revealing colorful stories.

Each evening, the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris daytime experience is bathed in the look of sunset with special lighting allowing guests to explore and enjoy this attraction well into the night. During the expedition guests can now enjoy the wildlife at night, and may discover two new species: African wild dogs and hyenas.

When the sun sets, the village of Harambe will become a hot spot with the new Harambe Wildlife Parti. Here, “party animals” can dance alongside local street musicians and entertainers, partake in foods and libations and explore the wares of village artisans and merchants. And the new Discovery Island Carnivale will captivate guests with music, dance, vibrant costumes, and culinary creations, spreading from one end of the island to the other.

Apparently Kali River Rapids has had its annual refurb extended by a month, meant to open mid feb but is now opening next week. Could be to add lighting etc to make it suitable for night operation. 

 

Exciting times for AK!

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Streets Of America & Lights Motors Action and others are no more.

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Source- Themepark Tourist

Construction fences have now occupied a large area of Hollywood Studios as it prepares for it's massive transformation project. The whole park now is practically a building site with only a few themed areas now without fences.

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