One of the true delights of the recent holiday season at Disney Parks was a special segment during our evening projection show, “The Magic, The Memories and You!” The faces of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park and “it’s a small world” at Disneyland park were transformed into gingerbread masterpieces, brightly colored packages and palaces of ice.
Well if you enjoyed that, our Creative Entertainment team has another treat in store, just in time for Valentine’s Day! A new show segment is set to debut Feb. 1, inspired by some of the most romantic moments in Disney animation. Cinderella Castle and “it’s a small world” will be covered in red roses for one sequence and turned into a beautiful, star-filled sky for another. During part of the show, spectacular stained glass windows will grace the façades, depicting the stories of Cinderella, Snow White and Belle.
One of my favorite moments comes when the king and queen from “Tangled” appear on a balcony, lifting a single lantern to the sky for their missing daughter. It’s soon joined by hundreds of others, creating a magical sight sure to draw “oohs” and “ahhs” from the crowd. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it! Of course, the most heart-warming part of any segment of “The Magic, The Memories and You!” is the images of our guests, captured by Disney PhotoPass photographers during the day and incorporated into the show each night.
The romance segment is planned to run as part of “The Magic, The Memories and You!” through mid-April but we’re not stopping there. Wait until you see “it’s a small world” as a sand castle in a segment we’re working on for summer. It’s chock full of detail… right up to the point where Goofy rides a wave across the façade, washing it all away to reveal… well, I don’t want to spoil all the surprises!
To give you an idea of what Disney has planned for the Summer segment coming later this year!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
So yesterday I had the chance to make it over to the Magic Kingdom to try out a test run of Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, which is currently play testing on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, although it is expected to go into soft openings spanning the entire week starting next week until it is ready to debut officially.
One major note to be considered before you read this photo report is that the game is currently running with certain aspects of the gameplay not yet enabled, including altered difficulty levels, game saves that continue after one day of play, the possibility of using defense spells against attacks from the villains, and possibly more that was not revealed to us during our day.
I don't want to spoil story details because this game adds so many new layers of story to the Magic Kingdom, the discovery of such is all part of the appeal of the game. What I will say is that Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom is an incredible new offering for the park that will definitely give guests even more to do while at the park. Having played seven of the eight missions (not including the finale) offered so far, we spent a good six hours playing all of these straight through. But with the ability (when the game launches) to pick up where you left off on another day as well as the chance to collect (and eventually buy) new cards, there is a great deal of depth to the game that I think will make it a true success.
Oh, and I filmed a video of the new Valentine's segment that was added to Magic, Memories & You! earlier this week! Enjoy!
The former firehouse shop has been replaced with the base and tutorial center for Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom.
This is why we were here!
The space is small, but with two registration desks and two tutorial booths, they move guests through very quickly.
The center booth is purely for show but the two outside sections are training portals.
The game requires very little technical knowledge (at least in the form we played).
Each guest is supplied with five spell cards as well as a sorcerer key card. The key card stores your progress (presumably via RFID) and activates portals by running it against the keyhole at each station.
Merlin is the main protagonist of the story, guiding you through each quest as they begin and end.
Here were my cards for the day. Each guest can get five cards per day, using an active admission ticket that day.
Since I was with a friend, we had ten cards total, and there were no duplicates between us.
There are currently 70 cards in active circulation, although one of them is EXTREMELY rare and is quickly being pulled from the distribution when found. We were told that the number of cards is expected to increase down the road, with the option to buy new cards also being a strong possibility in the near future.
Along with your cards, you are given a nifty little map that details all of the locations found within the game (so far).
Our first mission was on Main Street USA. Main Street has one story, Adventureland has three, Frontierland/Liberty Square has two and Fantasyland has two. After completing all available missions, a final mission against Hades is available for play.
Starting our mission on Main Street, we were led a new time board which hosts a portal.
The total story of the game is that Hades is seeking to gain the pieces of Merlin's Crystal of the Magic Kingdom to take over. Teaming with villains he has found in his river of souls (meaning that all of the villains he works with have been dead), he orchestrates a plan to get exactly what he wants.
Most of the original voices (including James Woods) returned to voice their respective characters, aside from the few that had passed away, as well as David Spade who did not return to voice Emperor Kuzco.
After finishing each duel/challenge at a portal, you are directed to the next location you are meant to visit.
Do you know where the portal is?
Main Street has some of the best-camoflagued portals in the park.
Henchmen of the main villains are also included in the game, giving you an early chance to play around with some spells.
Much of Main Street is under tarps for refurbishment.
The blending of the portal is pretty unique here.
Though it does make it a little harder to see the portal details.
Another well disguised window.
Spells can be performed using multiple cards at once, and while it doesn't currently affect the outcome of the game, it should matter when the full launch is in place.
A second recruitment booth can be found in Liberty Square right behind the Christmas Shoppe.
Some of the portals are loading with extra details, like this one found in Liberty Square.
Some sections of the mission require the use of the back of your spell cards, or the Sorcerers Crest, as it is referred to in the game.
Time to activate another portal!
Some of the portal locations have received an engraved logo marking where players are meant to stand. Some of the locations still have the sticker in place instead.
Frontierland is currently in the middle of a massive repaving project, forcing the Main Street Electrical Parade to go on hiatus for a short time.
Some portals are hidden behind curtains to help blend them into their respective environments.
Dr. Facilier is one of Liberty Square/Frontierland's villains.
Found a neat little tribute to Disneyland... "The gateway to Nature's Wonderland!"
Giving the multiple spells trick another try.
One of the more low-key windows in Adventureland.
Merlin can be found on land-specific attractions at the beginning of each mission. Here he is found on the Jungle Cruise and in Fantasyland you can see him in the Mad Tea Party Teacups.
The portal at the tower near Pirates of the Caribbean worked quite well.
We used the "Pink Elephants on Parade" spell to take out one of Scar's henchman hyenas.
The portal in the Tortuga Tavern fireplace was also extremely well themed.
Some new details have appeared in the Tortuga Tavern tying into the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
Another Adventureland portal sits to the right of the Sunshine Tree Terrace (sadly, no Orange Bird to be found).
The pathway between Haunted Mansion and the old Fantasyland Skyway building is beginning to be cleared.
A large construction wall now blocks off the entire Skyway area. A new restroom building is expected to be built next to the new path, meant to replace the soon-to-close restrooms next to Peter Pan.
The Fastpass line for Peter Pan is currently being worked on.
Despite the removal of Dumbo and the expansion of the construction walls into Fantasyland, the space does look a lot more open with Dumbo now out of the way.
The Castle Retaining Wall continues to receive new detail.
Scaffolding is coming down around the Be Our Guest Restaurant as it draws closer to facade completion.
Storybook Circus is expected to open around March with one of the two Dumbo spinners, the Fantasyland Station, the Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station and The Barnstormer.
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