What’s New, What’s Next: Disney World – September 29-October 1, 2011


We spent some time at Disney World this past weekend and there are plenty of changes since my last visit on September 16.

The (former) tennis courts at the Grand Floridian are a construction staging area.

Tennis courts

The tunnel to the left of the train station is still being worked on.


There was a crane behind Cinderella Castle so they could work on getting the Dream Lights installed for the holiday season.



Because of the crane, the path to the right of the castle (near the Tangled meet-and-greet) was closed off.


Enchanted Grove is still being worked on.

Enchanted Grove

The Little Mermaid’s building is coming along.

The Little Mermaid

This pole behind the wall was new.


The Beauty & the Beast area is looking great.

Beauty & the Beast

The scrim wall had been lengthened.

Scrim wall

The walls are still up around the front of Pinnochio’s Village Haus.

Village Haus

The crane was still up.


Storybook Circus is rolling right along.

Storybook Circus

Walls were up along the legs of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, near Stitch’s Great Escape.


Epcot is decorated for the International Food & Wine Festival.

Food & Wine

Food & Wine

Festival Center

Walls were up around the tip board. (Note: These came down on Friday- keep reading for more info.)

Tip board

Tents for the race were set up in the Animal Kingdom parking lot when we went on Friday morning.


The Lion King topiaries were out near the entrance.


At Primeval Whirl, the walls are still up on the right side. As I was standing there, I saw a car go down the track on the left side but they were turning guests away. I asked a Cast Member if the ride was going to be open and she said they were having a delayed opening and that the ride should be open later in the day.

Right side

Left side

We went back to Epcot to enjoy the Food & Wine Festival. We noticed that the walls were down around the tip board and it had some new effects- the signs flip and tweets are scrolling down the right side (see the video below).

Tip Board

Tip board

The stroller parking for The Land pavilion has moved – it is now on the side near The Seas.

Stroller parking

Donald and Daisy are out at the International Gateway.


One of the buildings at the Canada pavilion is being worked on.


Walls are up at the Japan pavilion while Yakitori House is undergoing changes.


On the menu boards for the Food & Wine booths, keep an eye out for the QR codes. These can be scanned with a smartphone and it will take you to a Food & Wine site where you can track your favorite items and see menus for the other booths.

QR code

When I was walking to the front of Epcot, I saw Br’er Bear greeting guests. I had never seen him in this location before. I don’t know if it’s a permanent or temporary thing.

Br'er Bear

That’s all for this update. Have a great day. 🙂

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Deb Wills, founder of AllEars.Net, is an internationally recognized expert on Disney vacations ranging from Walt Disney World to the Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland and Adventures by Disney. For many years she participated in events designed to raise funds and awareness in the fight against breast cancer, which she herself survived in 1986. She now raises funds for FORCE - Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, to increase awareness of hereditary cancers.

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15 Replies to “What’s New, What’s Next: Disney World – September 29-October 1, 2011”

  1. I do NOT like the new EPCOT Tip Board. Everything is much smaller, which means people have to get that much closer to it to read. Good thing I’ll be with people who have Mobile Magic on their phones.

  2. Hello, does anyone know the times when the MK parade is at night with a show at the castle steps the lighting of the castle time and then the fireworks for December? We will be at MK this Dec 12th. Thanks for any help you can provide. We are sooooo excited!! Thanks Mich

    Hi! The calendars posted on disneyworld.com (or the times guides in the parks) will have the most up-to-date information about parade, show and fireworks times.

    Disney has not yet announced what time the castle lighting ceremony will be.

    Have fun!

  3. Just got back and have a comment on the stroller parking for the land. At nite time there are no lights in the stroller parking area to find your stroller. We had to use our cell phone to see.

  4. Br’er Bear in Future World…. What would Walt think of that? (;

    Hi Ashley! Thanks for the great blog.

    I was at M.K. on wed. 10/5 and they still have a ways to go yet with the Castle Dream Lights. But they are really amazing to see so, hey…if we have to put up with “seeing” the crane while looking at the castle, it’ll be worth it. The crane can always be edited out of any “family vacation” pics that are taken during this time…right?

    As nice as the Magic Kingdom looks all decked-out at Christmas time, I think it’s even nicer now, during the Fall season. For me, the Fall season was officially underway the moment I emerged from the tunnel and entered Town Square this past wednesday.
    I think they did a spectacular job.

  5. Can anyone answer questions about the Christmas Day Parade taped in Walt Disney World. My son’s band from TN was chosen to march in the parade this year. We are very excited about this opportunity. We, the parents, are trying to decide if we can book separate from the band and still get in to watch the parade taping. We could come out so much cheaper because of Disney Visa points we have collected to book on our own but do not want to miss this taping. Does anyone know if you have to have a special ticket to stand on Main Street and watch the parade come down while they are taping?

  6. Thanks for the update- I always look forward to seeing them. For those who are looking for Brer Bear. We saw him at Animal Kingdom in June right outside the exit to Festival of the Lion King. We also saw Thumper and his girlfriend there as well.

  7. Came back from a 23 day vacation on the 28th Sept and miss Disney already!! Saw the changes that you mentioned above and cant wait for the fantasy land to be up and running when we go back!! CANT WAIT….thank you so much for keeping us updated!


  8. Brer Bear in Future World? How bizarre!

    That construction crane sure is a bummer though. The dreamlights or gorgeous but that thing is darn unsightly. I don’t know anything about construction but do they not make cranes that, you know, expand and contract?

    The crane was extended because they were inspecting the lights when I was there.

  9. Thanks for the updates, 18 days and counting and can’t wait for the Food and Wine Festival. Can you use snack credits for the food booths?

    When you get to the booths, check the menu posted near the line entrance or above the registers. The Dining Plan icon will be posted next to items that you can use the snack credit(s) for.

  10. Just a note from a former Land pavilion cast member – stroller parking by the Seas pavilion is for busier days. During slower times, you should be able to take strollers up to the doors.

  11. Wow! I can’t believe how much has changed in the 7 months since my last visit – I have to say, pretty sure the park will look great once all those walls are down and all the new updates are in place. I also REALLY hope that Br’er Bear is a permanent fixture – I haven’t seen any of him, as well as many of the other non-Princess and non-Fab Five characters since 2003 or so – their return would be a welcome change!

    Thanks for keeping me updated when I can’t visit the parks!

  12. Thanks for the update! 53 days and counting til we come down and all the little new things that are popping up makes me even more excited to see! Stroller parking is now different in Epcot at the land? I have a double stroller and hope the parking for it will be easier than how it used to be there, it was kind-of a mess! Again, thanks for the update.

  13. Great update, can’t wait to see everything myself in a few weeks. In regards to the last photo, I think they pull random characters out as I saw Bolt here back in February (and I had thought he was retired.