So how is Limited Time Magic being received by visitors to
Walt Disney World? Well, if the long lines in Town
Square yesterday afternoon are any indication, this
special series of entertainment events & experiences are being embraced in
a big way by WDW Guests. People stood in the hot sun at Magic
sometimes for a half hour or more just to get their pictures with Long Lost
Friends like the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf ...
Photo by Nancy Stadler
Robin Hood, Friar Tuck, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince
John from Walt Disney Animation Studios'
1973 release, "Robin Hood" ...
as well as two of Duckburg's more celebrated citizens,
Scrooge McDuck and Ludwig Von Drake.
Mind you, in the weeks & months ahead, there'll be a
number of these Disney character-driven "Limited Time Magic" events.
Take -- for example -- True Romance Week, which be held February 11th - 17th.
As Jason Dobbins, a spokesman for Disney Parks Marketing explained during a recent
"Over the course of that entire week, we'll be
celebrating Valentine's Day. As you move through the Magic
Kingdom, you'll discover many of
our Disney Princesses out & about with their Princes. Mickey & Minnie
will be also be all dolled up for the occasion. We'll have Cinderella's coach
out on display for those who'd like to get their picture taken in front of this
Disney icon. And -- at night -- Cinderella
Castle will be bathed in a romantic
pink light and pink firework shells will be featured in our nightly fireworks
display at this theme park."
Now what's kind of interesting about True Romance Week is
that it'll be the first "Limited Time Magic" event which will
featured some limited edition merchandise that was been created just for this
event. Those appropriately Valentine's themed items will reportedly go on sale
Monday, February 11th. And when they're
gone, they're gone.
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
"And for those who'd like to have a special romantic lunch
or dinner while they're experiencing True Romance Week at the Magic
Kingdom, various restaurants around
the Park are putting together special menus just for this occasion. They'll be
offering prix fixe meals for all those who are interested," Dobbins
But what if there are too many people who want to take part
in a particular "Limited Time Magic" event? Are the Disney Parks really
ready if they suddenly find themselves in another Leap Day 2012 situation.
Which was when ten of thousands of Guests turned out on February 29th to take
part in the "One More Disney Day" promotion. Which was when Disneyland
Park in Anaheim & WDW's Magic
were kept open for 24 hours straight.
"We learned a lot from last year's Leap Day promotion,
" Jason admitted. "The Guest response over-exceeded our expectations.
But in fairness, we didn't expect our fanbase to respond quite so
enthusiatically to an event that was being held in the middle of the week in
February. I mean, who knew that that many people would come out to the Parks on
a Wednesday night during a time of year when the weather usually isn't all that
Gail Nitti and her daughter Gianna Thompson hug it outwith Minnie & Mickey at last year's "One More DisneyDay" event at the Magic Kingdom. Photo by GeneDuncan. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved
" What 'One More Disney Day' taught us was that our fans are even more
excited about Disney than we ever imagined.," Dobbins continued. "So when
we decided to move ahead with our plans for 'Limited Time Magic' for 2013, we
wanted to make sure that we took all of the necessary precautions this time
around. Did everything that we could to make sure things went smoothly so that
our Guests could then get the maximum amount of enjoyment, surprise &
delight out of these 'Limited Time Magic' events."
This is why the "Limited Time Magic" is already
hard at work nailing down operational plans for what many view as the real
highlight of this year-long event. Which is Friday, September 13th, when the
Disney Villains are scheduled to take over Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida
and Disney California
"Given how our Guests love the Disney Villains, we
already know that there's going to be plenty of people who'll want to get in on
the fun at this one-night-only event,"
Jason said. "So to try & accommodate as many Guests as possible, we're
already planning on extending California Adventure & Hollywood Studios'
operating hours. We'll be keeping both of those theme parks open 'til 1 a.m. that night. Which will be the 13th hour
on Friday the 13th."
But as fun as these one-night-only events like the Villains
Take Over (Or -- for that matter -- the 7 day-long events like
"Independence Week," where the Magic Kingdom will really be beefing
up its nightly fireworks display as part of a special week-long celebration of
the Fourth of July) might be, to Dobbins' way of thinking, it's that little
extra splash of pixie dust that's really going to make "Limited Time
Magic" special for Guests.
"I mean, some of these events won't even be a full day
long. They may be just for a few hours on a single afternoon, when the Bakery
on Main Street whips up a
special batch of cupcakes. Or when a Disney artist is on hand to personalize a
new Vinylmation figure. And these 'Limited Time Magic' events can happen all
over property. They can be held at the theme parks, Downtown Disney. Even one
of the resorts. You just never know where and when you're going to stumble upon
one of these events," Jason stated.
That said, Dobbins did insinuate that there are still some
special, large-scale "Limited Time Magic" events in the works for the
latter part of 2013 like Long Lost Friends Week, True Romance Week, and Independence Week that The Walt Disney
Company has yet to announce.
Photo by David Roark. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved
"So if you really want to stay in the loop, it might be
smart to bookmark the 'Limited Time Magic' webpage," Jason concluded.
"Better yet, #disneymemories. That way, you'll then be made aware of each of these new 'Limited Time Magic' events
& experiences as we officially announce them. Which is typically on the
Friday before they're scheduled to begin."
Any thoughts on the Limited Time Magic "Winter Wonderland" near the Canada pavilion at Epcot last week?
Winter Wonderland got a few complaints treading on "false advertising" because they came expecting real snow and instead got tiny bubble flurries, but other than that the line grew steadily longer as the week progressed. The one big fan gripe is that these events have such short notice and more people would have come to Long Lost Friends week if they had more advance notice. Kind of makes me appreciate when news leaks before Friday like the character list did for Long Lost Friends week!
So they bring back old friends but get rid of the normal characters in the front of the park? and this upcoming week you can vote on a logo sounds like limited time magic to me...
I love to see these long lost Disney characters. I miss the Three Little Pigs with the Big Bad Wolf.
Sounds cute - I hope the Long Lost Friends event makes is to Disnayland at some point.
I'm not sure how to react to Limited Time Magic overall. I guess my biggest problem with the thing is that the name makes it sound like something that you should be getting with a free set of Ginsu steak knives if you call to order it in the next 15 minutes. :) It also seems like there's not a whole lot of :"there" there just yet - the Golden Horsehoe event was nice, but a lot of the events that have been announced so far sound like seasonal events that Disney was already doing at the parks that wee co-opted into the branding. But, hey, it's early in the year yet - maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.